CplusC Architectural Workshop’s ‘Jungle House’ in Australia prioritises sustainability

Located in Sydney, the rejuvenated old shop house includes an aquaponics pond, green roof, and solar panel facade system with battery storage and rainwater harvesting facilities.

by STIRworld Published on : Aug 03, 2020

Dwelling on Le Corbusier’s aphorism of a house being ‘a machine for living in’, Sydney-based CplusC Architectural Workshop has designed a building that works towards responsibly reducing the ‘exponentially increasing consumption that threatens humanity’. Conceived from a vision of creating a home, which explicitly celebrates and educates society about environmentally conscious construction, ‘Welcome to the Jungle House’ is rooted in sustainable principles. Designed for the CplusC Architectural Workshop’s director Clinton Cole and his family of four, the holistically sustainable home occupies a 90sqm site amid Victorian terraces of Darlington’s conservation area. The three-storey home is built within a restored rendered masonry, with its steel and timber heritage façade of a long unoccupied two-storey shop-top house carefully adhering to council instated heritage requirements.

06 mins watch Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop - a bespoke sustainably driven home featuring an aquaponics system, green roof and louvre windows Video Credit: Cinematography by Alexander Lee, film directed by Hayden Co’burn of by CplusC Architectural Workshop

The voluminous ground floor is flexible in function as it serves as a home office, a play area for the children and informal guest accommodation as well. With the growing popularity of electric cars, the architects have made provisions for a battery storage system in the garage where the electrically operated vehicles can be charged and parked. This garage and an accompanying workshop space can be accessed via a laneway located on the ground floor.

  • Welcome to the Jungle House - living area and kitchen space with ample daylight | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
    Welcome to the Jungle House - living area and kitchen space with ample daylight Image Credit: Murray Fredericks
  • Welcome to the Jungle House's entertainment room | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
    Welcome to the Jungle House's entertainment room Image Credit: Murray Fredericks

A spiral staircase has been cautiously positioned in the centre of the site that bridges the three floors, while at the same time behaves as a lightwell, taking advantage of stack ventilation strategies for thermally regulating the spaces. Cool air is directed upwards from the concrete slab and masonry wall spaces of the ground floor through to the bedroom and living quarters located above. The central stairway also ensures that the first floor circulation is minimal, with the three bedrooms, bathroom, toilet and laundry all located in close proximity to each other.

The spiral staircase connecting the three floors | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
The spiral staircase connecting the three floors Image Credit: Murray Fredericks

Flanked in the tightest wedge of the site is the master bedroom, equipped with an oversized timber window which pivots from hinges mounted in the centre of the frame. In addition to passively ventilating the space, the windows afford views of the neighbouring tree canopies.

Master bedroom with its oversized timber pivot window | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
Master bedroom with its oversized timber pivot window Image Credit: Murray Fredericks

Two bedrooms on the first floor are reserved for the children - accommodating bunk beds and a foldable timber door capable of isolating or connecting the spaces as and when required. Attempting to counter the social disconnect between food sources and communities in urban settings, the children’s rooms are provided with low storage-cum seating units overlooking an aquaponics fishpond. Combining conventional aquaculture with hydroponics - a system where plants are cultivated in water, a symbiotic relationship is demonstrated, designed to connect the children to their food sources.

Children’s bedroom | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
Children’s bedroom Image Credit: Murray Fredericks

The second floor follows an open plan layout with timber flooring and glass louver windows controlling and reflecting light onto the ceiling. Peeking above the masonry parapet, the floor captures expansive panoramic views of the city. An island bench works to separate and combine the spaces, providing an area to entertain friends and family. A large aperture promotes peaceful coexistence with nature, pulling the outdoors inwards through the fully operable glass inner skin.

Fenestration that allows greenery from within the house to spill out | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
Fenestration that allows greenery from within the house to spill out Image Credit: Murray Fredericks

The façade favours a solar panelled system, increasing renewable energy production whilst at the same time vacating space for rooftop landscaping. Offering uninterrupted views of Sydney’s skyline, the rooftop garden and planter beds nurture a community of sustainability that can be accessed by means of a fold down ladder in the outer living area. Fed from nutrient rich water pumped from the aquaponics pond, the native Australian planters self-sustain the family with fruit and vegetable while filtering bacteria in the process. Excess water is drained into a 5000l underground rainwater storage tank where it is then filtered and supplied back to the fish pond, illustrating a closed circular system.

Solar panel and perimeter roof plants | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
Solar panel and perimeter roof plants Image Credit: Murray Fredericks

The building has been spatially planned to allow the house to be adaptable to both the latest technological advancements as well as occupant’s lifestyle preferences. The photovoltaic panels on the northern façade are fastened using a clip system, enabling them to be serviced or changed to future models on demand, ensuring maximum efficiency. Exploiting sunlight throughout the day, the black solar powered system reinforces the sustainable building philosophy standing out against the existing heritage façade. A steel structure was chosen for the building on account of longer building lifespan and reduced maintenance. Original window openings are consistent with pre-rusted steel frames providing a striking contrast to the new gloss white steel frames punching through the masonry walls.

The outdoor living space | Welcome to the Jungle House by CplusC Architectural Workshop | STIRworld
The outdoor living space Image Credit: Murray Fredericks

Project Details

Name: Welcome to the Jungle House
Architect and Builder: CplusC Architectural Workshop
Project Architects: Clinton Cole, Christina Cheng

(Text by Saamia Makharia, an intern at stirworld.com)

Comments

Comments Added Successfully!

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
1686,1588,1544,1609,1420

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

Collaborate with us

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE