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Hammond House

Hammond House 1994

In contrast to the vastness of the surrounding landscape, this dwelling is reduced to simple elements and a modest scale and form (and budget). The remote site in Cooran overlooks the panorama of the Sunshine Coast, mountains and the Pacific Ocean. The house location takes maximum advantage of this view, the rural setting and the climate.

Being built in a remote place, the house was planned to make use of many prefabricated and pre-cut components. The isolation required the house to be self-sufficient, which matched the clients’ desire to minimise energy consumption and use basic ecological design principles. The resulting reduction in energy and water consumption, together with the use of plantation timbers, demonstrates the considerable impact that sustainable design strategies can have on even small projects.

While the house draws on the construction techniques of traditional Queensland houses, it does not slavishly follow them. Effective sun-shading and orientation made it possible to use the single skin walls of the Queenslander. But instead of the traditional vertical boarding, plywood was used, serving simultaneously as cladding and wall bracing. Another adaptation of traditional construction is the external stud framing which dispenses with the bottom plate (on which water can collect, and consequently weathers badly).

The house is in the Queensland cyclone region and is designed for wind speeds of up to 60 metres per second. Structurally, the design develops the bracing fin wall system devised by the Clares for their own house. Used here, it demonstrates the simplicity and flexibility of this system and its wider application to a range of low-cost building forms.

RAIA Awards

1995 Robin Boyd Award (National Award)
1995 Robin Dods Award
1995 Queensland Regional Commendation

Builder Terry McLardy