Organic, Naturalistic & Contextual Australian Home Design


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Contextual design can mean many things in many places. Australia is a land of open spaces and oases, where leaf cover is coveted when found – making this design by Undercurrent a kind of microcosmic idealized ecosystem within its larger environment. This leaf-roofed house is contemporary but it also uses new technologies and complex forms to and effect that is also ultimately as naturalistic as it is innovative.

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Of course, there are practical benefits to this structurally unusual home addition. The transparent layer of glazing around the perimeter reinforces the tree-like appearance of the building from a distance but also makes the walls visually permeable up close, connecting outside with inside.

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Like roots or branches, the copper “leaf” roof is held aloft by an ever-twisting system of curved steel “branches” – abstracted and clearly structural but also quite tree-like in their design, adding another point of apparent connection between the forest outside and the structure within.

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With evolving modeling tools and constructive technologies we are likely to see more and more structures like this cropping up in residential use. The expressive forms associated with reflective metal-clad museums (of an architect who will rename unnamed) are no longer limited to institutional and other large-scale construction projects.

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