Hilltop Residence Bellingen

Hilltop Residence Bellingen

3 pavilion residence design for 5 person household family (clients: artist and designer)

This modern interpretation of the vernacular Australian verandah pavilion evolved out of a site with multiple constraints.  With a steep slope orientated to the east, panoramic views to the south and a high fire danger to the west benefits. With a series of bridges connecting three volumes; carport, single level living pavilion (built along the slope) and two level ‘Sleeping’ pavilion (built perpendicular to the slope) views, solar gain, ventilation and ‘nestling’ in the slope were optimised. 

The main living pavilion has a galley style kitchen with stainless benches, cupboard doors and third wood timber finishes.  There are four angles wall alcoves that feature tapered bookshelves all in hardwood and interspersed by full height louvre windows.  The floors are painted hardwood tongue and groove timber reminiscent of European interiors. There is combustion heater built into a rendered masonry surround.  Cathedral ceilings with ceilings tapered between purlins  are lit by double ended gable clerestory windows and extend out to a large veranda with outdoor kitchen and glass and steel balustrades.  

The night time pavilion is semi open plan with 3 bedrooms, two bathrooms, a home office and an outdoor bedroom over two levels.  All rooms have views to the dam and the Bellingen valley to the south.  The levels are connected by a solid pink paint finish hardwood stair.  The dwelling features external access decks.

Sustainability and Environment Strategies: Introducing thermal mass in a solar passive design is challenged on steep slopes. Thermal mass in the floor was part resolved using Hebel PowerFloor panels on Lite Steel Beam. In the living area, a rendered mud brick wall served as bushfire protection and thermal mass.  

A reed bed system irrigates newly planted orchards. An evacuated tube solar hot water (Apricus), solar PV, and permaculture based raised veggie garden beds. Water collection is optimized in a closed circuit with the award winning Smartflo leafless gutters, a first flush diverter and a 90,000 litres concrete tank.  A SolarVenti exterior wall mounted panel provided additional heat to the dwelling in winter.

The dwelling was featured (under construction) in the Coffs Coast Focus magazine April 2011. 

Year Built:

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