Buttaba Residence

Winner – Commendation for Residential Architecture, 2011, Australian Institute of Architects (Newcastle) Winner – Home of the Year 2011, HIA

Situated on the western escarpment of Lake Macquarie, the site links a residential street and an existing boatshed and jetty at the lower portion of the site.  Site constraints and opportunities included steep rocky topography and a less than ideal orientation, but with a brilliant lake outlook.

Living , bedrooms and guests/entertainment zones are contained within three levels linked by a vertical circulation zone.  A pedestrian “jetty” bridge welcomes visitors into the home, crossing over a landscaped setback.  A glazed lift on the lake side provides expansive water views, light and vertical access.

The upper level is separated into two blockwork pavilions either side of the lobby, comprising living (north) and dining/kitchen (south).  Skillion roof forms and high level louvred glazing allow northern sunlight intake and cross ventilation.  Living spaces expand out to cantilevered decks serviced by operable roofs and shutters, capable of being opened up or shut down to suit climatic conditions.

The mid floor houses bedroom spaces that are separated by a central circulation lobby.  The master ensuite contains an integrated bedhead extension with podium water views back over the bedroom space and retracting shutters for segregation when required.  Bedroom decks allow spatial expansion and shade to the interior spaces.

The lower level acts as an entertainment hub with rumpus and guest areas.  The siting of the dwelling saw an excavation of the lower level into sandstone.  This allowed for the creation of a glazed void positioned to the rear of the dwelling for stormwater control, whilst providing dramatic internal views to the uplit rock face of the excavation.

Siting, high thermal mass, extensive shading, window types/positioning and insulation combine for an overall passively designed comfort solution all year round.

Being boating enthusiasts, the owners demanded a dwelling which had a strong relationship with the nautical surroundings.  Each living space and the main bedroom spaces were designed to incorporate lake views with marine inspired materials including stainless steel wires and large plank timbers reminiscent of a jetty.  Indoor/outdoor connections have been arranged to expand key spaces to adjacent outdoor space.