Koppen Terrace

Builder: Reilly Building Projects
Completion: 2010            Budget: $480k
Location: Cairns

The brief was to create a new home for the designer, by the designer, while taking into consideration the resale potential. The home needed to work in the tropics, be of light weight construction and achieve all of the ESD principles such as: capturing prevailing breezes; protection from driving rain; while allowing the building to breathe.

These environmental design criteria were to work in conjunction with a modern aesthetic, to create a unique home, built on functional design principles. Positioned at the top of the hill on Koppen Terrace, the site has fantastic mountains views to the south and ocean to the north and has great opportunity to capture breezes.

A critical factor in the design was to mitigate the use of air conditioning, and this has been achieved through a number of methods, including designing roof ventilation into the full perimeter of the building.  Venting occurs through high level wall sections, which are clad in black perforated mini-orb.

Successful cross ventilation was achieved by breaking up the enclosed spaces into pavilions, creating connecting internal/external breezeways and decks. A combination of ceiling fans, casement and louvred windows allow control and flexibility in different weather conditions.

The home is an innovative and fresh approach to both building and living in the tropics. It embraces the climate and celebrates the site’s merits, capturing fantastic views while having the ability to protect and shelter. 

The building’s structure is quite traditional and therefore economical to build. This has allowed for moments of extravagance in the design decisions elsewhere.  The feature glazed battened lanterns, the cladding system and the vertical bi-fold door all create a unique and special home.