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What is a super house?

October 25, 2015

Luke Mahony

In world where the usability of the latest mobile Phone is more important than the usability of our houses, it was refreshing to read the following article. ‘The Australian’ newspaper’s Christopher Allen refers to the current exhibition in Sydney in his article: Superhouse exhibition takes architecture beyond the McMansion.  It’s hard not to admire some of the amazing houses in what is arguably the most decadent art form. I especially liked the Pierre house.

Chris had this to say in summary. “The project of the so-called superhouse is thus implicitly counter-cultural. In a world preoccupied with materialism and the tokens of success, with fashion and opinionated chatter, with the addiction to mass media noise and superficial arousal of every kind, it proposes silence, peace and serenity.”

“It would be interesting to follow this exhibition with another on houses that achieve simplicity of design, sympathetic relations to their setting and openness to nature on a minimal budget. It must be possible to design something beautiful and harmonious without massive amounts of reinforced concrete and complex feats of engineering. It would be fascinating to see what can be done with recycled timber, mud bricks or even rendered Besser bricks, corrugated iron and other vernacular materials.”

“Sliding or removable walls, or heavy walls of materials such as rammed earth to provide insulation — depending of the orientation of the house — and much higher ceilings than in standard suburban houses to allow heat to rise and escape through clerestory windows, would all be relatively inexpensive ways to cope with the Australian environment without resorting to airconditioning, which is surely incompatible with true architectural ambition.”

Long live the artist who can create good form AND function. See the full article here.

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