Mosman House by Rolf Ockert Design
From the architect. Seen from the street the house appears minimal.
Set on a large block falling towards the harbour beach reserve many layers of living spaces are revealed as one progresses through the house.
Private rooms, sauna and gym are housed in the southern pavilion, opened to natural air and light via a landscaped courtyard, also revealing some of the rock all this depends on.
The family spaces are in the northern pavilion, connected to its southern counterpart by a walkway framed with sculptural copper fins filtering the light and allowing glimpses.
The kitchen and dining are on the top floor, while below the entry level, due to the steep fall of the site now sitting high, offering fantastic views.
Below this the large living room, empowered by the topography to a dramatic double height space, reaching to the reserve via a large deck, sunken fire pit and waterfall edge pool.
In addition to the nowadays mandatory sustainability measures such as Rainwater tank, high level insulation, low energy lighting etc the house has been, from its initial concept design, conceived to minimize energy use. The grouping of rooms around the courtyard plays an important role by providing provides significant exposure to natural light and air flow to all living rooms, minimizing the need for use of air conditioning and artificial lights. The provided cross ventilation will make the use of air-conditioning unnecessary for all but a few days in the year. The high-mass solid construction in conjunction with the ubiquitous planting contributes to a natural control of the micro-climate.
A green roof is not only pleasant to look onto but also efficiently insulates the roof while at the same time greatly increasing the landscaped area.
The glazing, indispensable in order to connect the house visually to its magnificent setting, has been restricted to the North and South facades and relies on the latest low-e and double glazing technology. The articulation of the facades optimizes natural shading in summer while maximizing solar gain in winter.
Heating is provided by way of an energy efficient low-heat under floor gas Hydronics system, providing gentle background heat throughout the living areas.
A battery system harnesses the solar generated electricity, effectively making the house energy independent.