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Friday, June 12, 2009

Kokopo House, Kopoko, Papua New Guinea

Luxury house design provides platform for sustainability
Kopoko, being an active volcanic location in Papua New Guinea, may not seem like the ideal place to construct a luxury house. But the beauty of the region has inspired the design of a house for a Shipping CEO, situated close to the TARVURVUR volcano.

The spectacular natural beauty of the area and the climate lend themselves to attribute to a remarkable design with integrated sustainability features. The house is designed site specifically to utilize the tropical weather, landscape and views of the active volcano working with the unique materials of the area.

The house is separated into three zones: one for open access entertainment, the next for informal secluded areas and two self contained bedroom areas with bathrooms and study space. Working with fluid geometries and shapes similar to volcanic lava, the walls undulate through the site encouraging a variety of spaces that unfold. The feature stair encourages an open plan and the user to enjoy the house in many ways and a variety of uses. The roof is also designed with this in mind as a column free structure overlaid onto the open plan. The house is open to the elements, not using windows but instead encouraging free circulation of air throughout.

Geometrical arcs inspired by foliage were used on all facades and are being constructed in moulded pre-cast panels with radius curves extracted directly from a live computer model. These curves encourage wind movement around the building and cross ventilation.

Two storage tanks collect rain water from the roof to be used in the toilets and kitchen, and after treatment and testing, for drinking water. Solar water heaters treat the rain water for use in showers. Without the ability to draw electricity from a grid, low wattage LED's are used throughout the building to illuminate.

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