Low + Close

Lecture 10.6.16 by Tone Wheeler of Environa Studio

Easily my favourite lecture in date in  more than 5 years of tertiary schooling. If you ever get the chance to hear Tone or Environa Studio give a lecture, I highly recommend it.

This lecture considers the changes to lifestyle that have occurred in the last 50 years or so, the changes this has caused in housing design and the transformation of the triple bottom line to match these new needs:

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We look at the changing face of communities in Sydney moving from the city centre to just over 30km out which involves looking through community shape and form, transport requirements, infrastructure, available jobs and overal liveability. As the images below show, Surry Hills is a walkable community, self sustaining in that there are enough jobs available for all those who live in the area unline the outskirting Beaumont Hills which has a heavy reliance on cars, larger plot sizes and larger paved spaces:

We can consider plot sizes and use in the images below:

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and find a solution to the problem through the concept of “low and close”, essentially an inside out, upside down back to front house that uses more efficient materials and better harnesses that natural energy of the sun and wind. Living spaces are moved to the top of the house for better access to sunlight, and rarely used spaces, such as the bedrooms and bathrooms, are moved to the bottom of the house. The materials are flipped, with a rejection of the use of the traditional brick vaneer design as shown in the 2 images below:

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Traditional House Design

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Low and Close Design

A great design to consider in a highly urban, dense area, which still gives the family the space they require whilst improving their quality of life by creating a far more walkable community with the twin benefits of energy effiency in reduced car use as well as increased health benefits.

I love it. I’m all about it. This is the type of design I aspire to achieve.

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