AR House 2012 Commended: Demonstrating an elegant and economic use of local materials, this house in the Borneo rainforest reinterprets vernacular precedents
Commissioned by a forestry company that sustainably harvests and manages 100,000 hectares of tropical rainforest, this house provides accommodation for the company manager, his family and visitors. Elevated on stilts, the house is arranged as two mirrored halves linked by an entry ‘dog run’ and a long veranda overlooking the forest landscape.
Its form reflects the local vernacular longhouses, with their frugal timber structures, as well as the imperative to live simply and self sufficiently. The house is low cost (£120 per sqm) and autonomous (exploiting rainwater collection, biogas units and electricity from solar panels), while large overhangs and the veranda filter light and temper heat gain.
Locally harvested and milled timber is the main building material, limited to just two section sizes. This addresses the reality of scarce resources, increasing the yield per tree, as well as the logistics of processing and construction. Locally fabricated plywood is used as a diaphragm for walls and floors.The jury found it a highly convincing project, emblematic of craft, care and environmental stewardship.
Architect: Marra + Yeh Architects
Roof: BlueScope Lysaght
Exterior protection: Dulux Solarscreen
Hardware: PC Henderson
Photographs: Brett Boardman