Mornington Peninsula – Smart House

Several schemes pre-empted the final design of a single level house pushed into the side of a very steep sand dune in Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia.
Designed by Sean Godsell architects, the plan is ‘L’ shaped and one leg of the ‘L’ cantilevers away from the slope and projects towards the adjoining national park and the ocean beyond.
As well as being a home, House on the Coast is a technology device which can be remotely controlled by its occupants to enhance their comfort and living experience from their smartphone. The remotely operated systems include: heating, garden irrigation, façade operation, swimming pool heating, security, lighting, entertainment and solar battery power collection
In other words our client can physically interact with the house without actually being in occupation. This symbiosis has direct implications on the environment and in particular energy consumption, for example, and enables the owner to play an active role in protecting the planet while enhancing their personal comfort and reducing day to day running costs. The smart phone mediates this complex relationship between owner and house and the house becomes more device-like as a result.
Embedded in the local terrain the interaction with nature is ensured even as the building leaves the ground in its cantilevered bedroom wing. In time the building’s shade-skin will weather to match the grey of the surrounding coastal ti-tree as Nature begins to take back what was taken from her. The second is in the client’s intelligence to understand the complex balance between architecture and nature and to support a design that ensures this equilibrium.

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