Text description provided by the architects. House68 is a private family residence. The house is designed as a series of modern pavilions connected by large open terraces and water gardens. Each pavilion differs in program and allows for the large home to be sectioned. A guest pavilion, an entertainment pavilion, a living pavilion and a service pavilion; each of which functions independently and may be sectioned and closed off when not in use. This flexibility allows for the house to conform and to adapt to the changing needs of the family.
The design brief required that the house is able to adapt to the changing needs of a growing family for the coming years. The actual members of the family that will be staying in on a daily basis will change when their children leave home for studies. Responding to this, the idea of separate components in the form of pavilions is designed into the home, allowing sections to be shut-off when not in use. Basic fundamentals of tropical architecture are adopted from the start. Primary living spaces are designed with openings along the north-south axis to avoid excessive solar gain. Opposing walls open up to allow for effective cross ventilation and airflow through. Deep verandahs and cantilevered roof eaves shade the interior from the afternoon sun whilst a double skin façade incorporating a series of glu-laminated pine louvres provide the shade and transparency needed for the pavilions.
Water gardens and landscaped courtyards provide shade and lowers the ambient temperature around the house. Pathways and terraces form semi-outdoor spaces between the interiors and the gardens that is used as additional living spaces when the need arises. The concept of pavilions is a very common approach to tropical architecture. The fragmented planning allows for permeability and effective air flow through and around the building cooling and refreshing the interior of the house. The planning naturally creates outdoor spaces and courtyards that binds the programs of the pavilion with the outside and activates the in-between spaces more effectively. A semi-enclosed space that bridges internal space to the exterior allowing functions to expand and contract depending on the need of the time.
This concept of a 3rd space, in the context of a residential unit, adopts the area left over for the garden and integrates it into the planning for the pavilions. This results in a design where architecture and landscape coexists, sharing its available space with one another and allowing the boundaries to be more fluid. This project explores the idea of a modern tropical home where the architecture is exposed to the natural elements that surrounds it. Light, air, water and garden is allowed to permeate and pass through the house through its courtyards, air wells, ventilated walls, windows and timber screens. The degree of permeability is controlled to an extent that the interior spaces retains its comfort levels and not suffer from excessive heat gain or moisture levels. Tropical architecture is not to shield and protect the users away from the elements but to enhance and bridge the experience and the relationship between them.