Architects' Open Studio by Rob Henry Architects and de Rome Architects

EVENT: 28 November 2015, 11:00-16:00, Rob Henry Architects

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As part of the Design Canberra Festival, we are opening our studio to the public. Anyone who is interested in our work and wants to know more should come along and see what it is that we do. We will be able to answer any questions you may have about our work and the process of engaging and working with an architect.

ArchiTEAMS: Harrington Morgan House

EVENT: 23 November 2015, 17:30-18:30, Garema Place

The Australian Institute of Architects ACT Chapter is hosting a series of events as part of the Design Canberra Festival. ArchiTEAMS is a series of talks with architects, owners and builders about their experiences during the design and build process.

Rob's ArchiTEAMS talk will be on the Harrington Morgan house in Deakin. The owner and builder will both be there with Rob to talk about the project and answer questions that you may have about this project and about creating an architect designed home.

 

Box House wins ACT Architecture Award

Rob Henry Architects has been awarded the highest accolade for residential housing in the ACT. Last night, Rob Henry's Box House received the Malcolm Moir and Heather Sutherland Award for Residential Architecture - Houses (New) at the 2015 ACT Architecture Awards.

Rob was also the design architect for another award winning project on the night, The Harvey Taylor House, whilst employed at Philip Leeson Architects.

Box House - Rob Henry Architects

NEAT tour - Oxley Woods

The final visit on Rob's tour was to the Oxley Woods development by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (formerly Richard Rogers Partnership) in Milton Keynes. This large scale development of 145 factory produced houses was the first project to use Rogers 'Homeshell' system of prefabricated structural insulated wall panels which are delivered to site and erected within 24 hours. The award winning scheme has been dubbed as the answer to the UK's housing crisis as it not only reduces construction time but provides a low cost energy efficient building. There are 10 different house types of 2-5 bedrooms; each designed with 'living' and 'service' zones to improve thermal efficiency and reduce energy consumption.

Stay tuned for the date of Rob's talk, where he will provide more information on each project and their relevance to the Canberra context.

Street view of the Oxley Woods development

Street view of the Oxley Woods development

Three storey housing modules placed along narrow paved 'local' roads with reduced speed limit.

Three storey housing modules placed along narrow paved 'local' roads with reduced speed limit.

NEAT tour - LILAC

The third stop on Rob's study tour was to the Low Impact Living Affordable Community (LILAC) in Leeds. LILAC is comprised of five two- and three-storey timber framed straw bale housing blocks grouped around a common house and communal garden. The 20 dwellings have access to private gardens and community veggie plots. 10 car spaces are located on the fringe of the development, with home owners either co-owning or sharing a vehicle, or riding a bike.

Addressing affordability, the project was set up as a Mutual Home Ownership Society, which is a pioneering co-operative structure where members buy into the development through a 10% construction cost deposit plus a commitment to paying 35% of their annual salary to a fund. The construction was paid for by using the deposit money and sourcing a loan via a small ethical banking society. The members' 35% salary sacrifice pays off the mortgage plus also goes to upkeep of the communal facilities in the project, such as the common house and kitchen, communal laundry and workshop, and general building maintenance.

This development truly has a community feel. Walking around the development with Lara Eggleton, a resident of LILAC, we observed the impromptu activities that the residents were participating in and it was clear to see that the housing project was brining people together.

View from the third level of LILAC Housing Project

View from the third level of LILAC Housing Project

The lush communal gardens and pond in the central court of the development.

The lush communal gardens and pond in the central court of the development.

NEAT tour - Hockerton

The second site visit in Rob's study tour was to the Hockerton Housing Project.

Hockerton is a self sufficient co-housing project designed by Robert and Brenda Vale, architects and authors of The Autonomous House. Situated in Nottinghamshire, the five earth-sheltered homes are built with high levels of thermal mass and insulation, generate their own energy through solar and wind turbines, and harvest and recycle their water onsite.

Constructed in 1995, the project was well ahead of its time and remains an exemplar of sustainable community focused living. The owners continue to adapt the project as new technologies become available, such as the installation of plug-in charge points for their electric cars.

Many thanks to Rob Cartwright, owner of house no. 2, for taking us on the tour of this inspirational project.

Hockerton Housing Project, overlooking the water treatment pond.

Hockerton Housing Project, overlooking the water treatment pond.

Solar panels run along the building at the junction between the earth covered roof and glazed conservatory. Wind turbines in the distance.

Solar panels run along the building at the junction between the earth covered roof and glazed conservatory. Wind turbines in the distance.

A manually vented glass conservatory runs along the front of the building, with heat from this then transferred into the earth shelter.

A manually vented glass conservatory runs along the front of the building, with heat from this then transferred into the earth shelter.

NEAT tour - Mark Merer

We are currently travelling through England after receiving a prize in the New Experimental Architectural Typologies (NEAT) Competition. The first visit we made was to Welham Studios in Somerset to meet Mark Merer, an artist-sculptor and the lead designer of LandhouseBRUTON. The project will consist of 65 sustainable green roofed dwellings in a richly landscaped setting. Mark is working in consultation with the community and local landholders to create a unique and thoughtful medium density development.

It was fantastic meeting Mark and his partner Lucy Glendinning, a visual artist, at their home and studio; a striking sculptural piece of architecture.

Rob will be presenting case studies from his study tour, including LandhouseBRUTON, when he returns home.

Preliminary model of LandhouseBRUTON

Preliminary model of LandhouseBRUTON

Mark and Lucy in front of Welham Studios

Mark and Lucy in front of Welham Studios

Young Designers Light Rail Competition

Rob was the competition advisor and jury member for the Young Designers Light Rail Competition run by the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects and ACT Capital Metro.

The winning entries were strong in their resolution of creative ideas and were communicated through eye catching graphics, hand crafted illustrations and eloquent written descriptions. Each project had a distinctive connection to place and provided architecturally vibrant, sustainable and community focussed environments for light rail travellers.

Students from Lyneham High School's winning team

Students from Lyneham High School's winning team

New logo

We would like to thank Sophie Cooper at Scoops Design for our new logo and branding. The fresh and elegant look complements our style.

NEAT Competition Prize Winner

Rob Henry has won second prize in the New Experimental Architectural Typologies (NEAT) Competition run by the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. The competition asked entrants to create a scheme for a new housing type for Canberra that is contemporary, sustainable and affordable. The brief also asked entrants to break the rules and develop ideas that challenged existing planning laws. Rob has done exactly that with his entry - submerged; a plan for a medium density community that maximises green space.

The prize gives Rob the opportunity to travel to investigate an alternative housing typology outside of Canberra; after his trip Rob will give talk at the ACT Chapter of the Institute. Sponsors of the prize include the Land Development Agency, ACT Government Directorate of Environment and Planning and Defence Housing Australia.

The competition results have been featured on Architecture and Design and The Canberra Times.

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