A luxurious Margaret River retreat has won a major award recognising important sustainability measures in its architectural design.
Wing House, owned by doctor Richard Nixon and his wife Jane, took out the top prize at last week’s WA Design Matters National Building Design awards and was a finalist in the national awards to be decided last night.
Arcologic director John Damant designed the house, which the owners said gave them flexibility as well as a low footprint, despite the size of the property.
“John was very attuned to what he thought we might like, and quickly offered us a design as a work-in-progress,” Dr Nixon told the Times.
“The design, extensively modified and refined to our specific requirements, saw Wing House arise out of the ashes producing the magnificent end result.”
Wing House was split into two wings for ease of living, with the west wing only opened for visitors.
The design focused on privacy as well as eco-friendly credentials.
The judges from Design Matters described the finished project as “a perfect response to the environment it is situated in, as well as contextual and relevant, Wing House will be admired for generations”.
“Looking from above, inside or outside, this design gives pleasure,” they said.
“Well thought-out and integrated into its natural environment, the plan form embraces the landscape at the rear private space and creates a focus for the entry threshold at the front. A truly beautiful result.”
The architect said his focus in the design was creating the separate spaces for the home’s two wings, as well as future-proofing the home for full-time residency.
“The skillion roof also sweeps up to the north to maximise solar gain, which also gives the impression of a bird about to take flight, hence the moniker, Wing House,” Mr Damant said.
The home was designed to solar-passive principles to minimise additional heating and cooling requirements.
With single-depth rooms and big glazed windows to the north, Mr Damant said the home made full use of the winter sun, and in summer, the southerly breeze would naturally flow through.
While the Nixons currently enjoyed their property as a weekender, soon they would retire to the property.
“This cosy property, and in particular the rear views, never fail to instil in us a feeling of relaxation and tranquillity,” Dr Nixon said.
“We look forward to our regular visits to what at this stage is our wonderful holiday home, but which we propose to make our ‘forever home’ in the relatively short term.”
The property also won the gong for best new house under $2 million and best residential rural design.