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December 30, 2022

Taking a house tour inside a home made entirely from local and sustainable building materials, Topology Studio offers a rare insight into how a structure becomes one with its surrounds. Sitting atop the land, House at Otago Bay looks out toward the bay and as far as Mount Wellington – offering the owners a home that is flush with the landscape. Modest upon arrival, House at Otago Bay is positioned at the end of the drive with its back towards neighbours and its front facing the opposite bush reserve. Made of locally sourced bricks, bushfire-resistant timber and glass, the home’s design showcases a passion for building sustainably for the present and future.

Entering the home at the main living level, Topology Studio has designed the space to open and focus on unrivalled views of the bay. Though sitting on a narrow site, the insertion of unique architectural and design choices inside a home, such as the continuous curved ceiling, help the home to branch outwards and avoid being marginalised by frames. Stairs that sit off to the side lead down to the lower ground floor, in which a bedroom and ensuite have been partially set into the foundation of the home, offering a distinctive view out across the grass and towards the water’s edge. With a seamless connection that isn’t often seen inside a home, the external façade blurs the lines between inside and out and adds a layer of connection to the surrounding environment.

Sitting quietly and calmly upon the land, the architects have chosen to use tones that reference the rocks, water and greenery of the landscape. Using locally sourced and produced materials inside and out took away the need to import from overseas, avoiding unnecessarily increasing the home’s carbon footprint during construction. After specifying the Tasmanian brick, Topology Studio positioned the building to maximise sunlight during winter and shield the inside during the summer, while also taking advantage of the expansive views. To cater to the changing temperature inside a home, the masonry and concrete floor provide a high level of thermal mass through the seasons and take away the need for external heating technology.

House at Otago Bay is supplied electricity by the solar panels on the boat house – taking away any need for gas and minimising running costs and impact on the environment. Though inside a home can be thought of as sustainable, Topology Studio has taken the extra step to respect the environment by providing robust materials across both outside and inside – proving that homes can provide longevity for its owners in sustainable and eco-friendly ways.

00:00 - Introduction to the Sustainable Home
00:30 - The Architect and The Home Owner
01:00 - The Location
01:19 - A Walkthrough of the Sustainable Home
01:40 - Expanding Spaces Through Shapes
02:27 - A Seamless Connection of Inside and Outside
02:47 - A Home that Sits Quietly and Calmly
03:00 - Using Local Manufacturers
03:21 - Maximising the Benefits of the Natural Elements
04:01 - An Entirely Electric Home
04:13 - Climate Change Impacts and Planning for the Future
04:48 - Minimising Footprints

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Photography by Paul Hermes.
Architecture and Interior Design by Topology Studio.
Build by Cave Constructions.
Styling by Belle Bright and Lynda Gardener.
Landscape by Playstreet.
Structural, Hydraulic and Geotechnical Engineering by Gandy and Roberts.
Quality Surveying by Matrix Management Group.
Environmentally Sustainable Development by Building eValuate.
Building Surveying by Pitt & Sherry.
Filmed and Edited by The Local Project.
Production by The Local Project.

The Local Project acknowledges the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners of the land in Australia. We recognise the importance of Indigenous peoples in the identity of the country and continuing connections to Country and community. We pay the respect to Elders, past and present and extend that respect to all Indigenous people of these lands.

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