Emu Park Residence

The site is a rocky embankment cascading towards a picturesque cove on the Capricorn Coast, south east of Rockhampton. Pandanus trees, including a thick grove in the north east of the site, are the predominant vegetation. The site has expansive views of the Keppel Islands.

The form of the building wraps along the contours of the site allowing all spaces to benefit from the easterly and north-easterly aspects. The bulk of the building is partially cut into the site so that it may read as a refined extension of the natural landscape.

This is achieved through the selection of materials - the use of local rock for the construction of many walls, silvery grey timber cladding, and extensive endemic landscaping to all roof planes. A sunken Winter Court between the 'outcrop' of the building and the elevated back corner of the site forms the stitching between the natural and built landscapes.

Driftwood from the site is fixed to a 6m high translucent screen to the laundry and gym spaces. Juxtaposed against this is the Lookout Tower, a vertically battened cylindrical volume which acts a pivot to the overall composition.

The planning of the building is arranged over two primary levels each with self-contained living spaces, and a mezzanine library / studio level. This level also allows for access to a roof (sunset) terrace and the array of photovoltaic panels.

The house is cooled and heated through a system of 'earth pipes' which involves the transfer of heat between the ground and air circulating within buried pipes. Solar powered fans pull the air below the ground where it gives up its heat or cold and excess moisture. It is then redistributed throughout the house. The constant temperature of 18 deg C of the earth (below 3m) in this area allows the system to cool the house in summer and warm it in winter.

The house also contains 120,000 litres of rainwater storage within a tank positioned under the pool terrace lawn.

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