The Tropical House is built on a man made canal that leads to the Noosa River. This house is heavily influenced by south East Asian design, with large overhangs shading and expensive retractable openings. A central garden is the focus of two slightly angled pavilions. Water is used throughout the design. A trickling man made creek cascades towards the resort style swimming pool. A round spa evoking the shape of a champagne glass sits as the central focus of the entire plan.
The street entrance is a mash of various forms, but it's only on entering the garden gate that the full strength of the Tropical House is realised. It is primarily a holiday home for a family from Melbourne. The left hand pavilion contains the kitchen and living area while on the upper level two bedrooms, including the master, which over looks the waterway. Linked via a glass bridge is the second pavilion, which houses a 'second' master bedroom. On the lower level of this second pavilion you'll find a cocktail bar and another sitting area. All levels in both pavilions are linked by large voids. Timber louvered windows line the upper floors allowing valuable ventilation in the tropics to filter throughout all levels.
Exotic materials including concrete columns faced with Balinese volcanic rock and Fijian cedar used in the ceilings and soffits. Roof tiles keep the house well insulated and cap the entire hip roofed pavilions, including the main outdoor living area in the centre of the garden.
The real success of this house is the understanding that the garden and the use of water as a design theme is the most important feature in 'Balinese' architecture. The climate on the sunshine coast lends itself easily to this type of design but there are a few underlying principles that can be applied anywhere. They include, deep overhangs to provide shade, cross ventilation in and around the building and the garden as an integrated living space, which in this house can be viewed from every room in the house.