Australian tropical style
Sun, water, air and lush vegetation are the ingredients of the idyllic natural setting of Contemporary Tropical House, a splendid villa located on Noosa Sound, a Coral Sea coast resort north of Queensland’s capital Brisbane in Australia.
The property was created by self-styled Building Designer Chris Clout, who commented: “My projects aim to create a genuine connection between interiors and exteriors so that the spaces can open up completely and maximise the living area, guaranteeing private well-being while at the same time promoting socialisation.”
The home has an intimate yet bold sense of communion with nature. “The Sunshine Coast has an incredible climate for much of the year and Noosa Sound is a very popular location, so one of the main challenges of the project was to open up the spaces and allow them to connect with the landscape. The client even asked for native plants to be integrated into the project to encourage the presence of local fauna.” Consequently, greenery is ever present and is integrated organically into the project through specially designed areas incorporated in the floor plans of each level. The more than 700 square metre house extends over four floors starting from the large basement (an impressive feat of engineering considering that it is two metres below low tide level!) housing a spa, wine cellar, dance room and 5-car garage. The double-height ground floor houses the living room, dining room, kitchen and studio, while the sleeping area consisting of three bedrooms and ensuites looks out onto an empty space. And right at the top is a roof terrace.
Natural light, favoured by the south-facing orientation, takes pride of place throughout the home. It floods in through the enormous windows and retractable skylight in the centre of the terrace; it filters through the wooden brise-soleil strips sheltering the façade; it fills the vertiginous voids, expands spaces and provides living energy for the plants. And it culminates in the large living room, the visual centrepiece of the home where interior and exterior blend together. The full-height windows offer a spectacular view of the swimming pool extending along the internal front of the building, then out to the river and the lush vegetation beyond. Inside, the various functional areas – the imposing spiral staircase, the curved balcony and the semi-circular kitchen – interconnect freely, the sense of fluidity accentuated by the gracefully flowing lines. The warm atmosphere is further enhanced by extensive use of Blackbutt timber, a local species of Eucalyptus. It was chosen for the steps, for the brise-soleil strips that punctuate the walls and roofs and above all for the outwardly-jutting ceiling, another feature that eliminates boundaries.
As a consequence, the floor also helps to break down the invisible barrier between inside and out.
The chosen material was porcelain tile, partly because “the client wanted a low-maintenance home”, explained the designer. Sichenia supplied 60×60 cm and 60×90 cm surfaces from its Chambord collection in a soft stone effect and the three colours beige (dominant), grey and white for both the floors and the walls. The sense of physical and aesthetic continuity is guaranteed by the choice of different surface finishes for the indoor and outdoor spaces, as in the case of the lounge and the open-air kitchen, and of course the swimming pool area.
The Contemporary Tropical House is a perfect example of the “resort style” typical of architecture projects located on splendid coasts the world over.
60x60 - 60x90 cm
Water absorpion (ISO 10545-3): ≤ 0,5 %
Chemical resistance (ISO 10545-13): UGL
Stain resistance (ISO 10545-14): compliant
Modulus of rupture and breaking strength (ISO 10545-4): ≥ 45 N/mm2
Slip resistance (DIN 51130): R10
Thermal shock resistance (ISO 10545-9): compliant
Crazing resistance (ISO 10545-11): compliant
Linear thermal expansion (ISO 10545-8): compliant