Olinda House

BENT Architecture

The Olinda House is a new home surrounded by spectacular natural landscape and designed for sustainable living in the Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne.

The home embraces the sun and utilises passive solar design techniques to ensure year-round comfort and efficiency. Long and narrow, the home stretches from east to west to maximise the opportunity to capture north light. Windows on opposite sides of the home capture cooling breezes keeping the interior naturally warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

Thermal mass is used extensively throughout the home, with polished concrete floors and an innovative type of blockwork, Timbercrete which is a lightweight, sustainable building block fabricated with waste timber content. In addition to the Timbercrete, locally-sourced, sustainably-harvested ironbark is used throughout to minimise the home’s carbon footprint and provide the necessary bushfire protection. Combined with 60 solar panels on the roof, the home is not just comfortable, but low-energy. The owners estimate their yearly power bill will be around $300!

Built broadly on the footprint of a demolished house, the design minimises site disturbance and maintains existing trees on the site. The landscape is an essential element of the home and the design connects the owners to the garden. Windows on both the north and south sides bring the landscape inside and, from the outside make the home partially transparent, merging building and landscape into one.

Olinda House celebrates and enhances the spectacular natural landscape of its site. Whether it’s getting out in the garden, feeling connected to nature (even when inside), or just sitting back and enjoying a slower pace of living, the Olinda House makes it a joy!

Photography: Tatjana Plitt