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   -   The Laminex Group Single Residential Architecture Award

Coco Eco
by Fiona Hogg Architect



Set in a site that is a remnant of ‘pristine' natural habitat at the edge of the ‘pindan' this building finds a resting place within an existing elevated clearing with strong visual connections to the tidal lagoon and ocean beyond to the west. The project consists of a series of pavilions stretching along an east –west axis marcated by the rich ‘pindan' rendered masonry spine that separates and connects the public and more private living pavilions while bringing the texture and colour of the site to the interior. A board walk connects the main gathering area to the accommodation further to the east set back form the main public areas to preserve and existing stand of native trees that at once shades and shields these more intimate spaces. The pavilions are oriented to enjoy the cooling westerly breezes and enjoy the panoramic views over the adjacent stretch of coast. The building form is a direct response to the climatic conditions and environmental qualities of the site with a roof form to the main pavilions that twists up dramatically to south west acts as ‘windscoop' directing available breezes with in the building. Decks and boardwalks that connect the pavilions permit an immersion within the site while allowing the site to flow below the building and

minimise interruption to the preserved or rehabilitated natural habitats. The building provides a connection and acclimatisation to the site and local climate and environment with a blurring of the distinction between internal and external spaces. Walls become more ephemeral with the use of slatted timber walls and screens both fixed and louvred bifold doors. The building is reliant on passive thermal cooling throughout the year and employs the good tropical design principles to achieve this end. With no artificial cooling the occupant is forced to adapt to the to the climate and the natural rhythms of the day and cycle of the seasons. The materiality of the buildings explores the notion of connection to the historical and still typical building idiom of the region using corrugated steel, timber, louvres and pindan within the building fabric. Colour and texture are utilised to reflect the natural context of the site with a connection between the desert pindan and the coastal dunes within the development. Environmental sustainability has been embraced and celebrated within the development with the waste water garden at the entry and centre of the buildings serving as living reminder of a commitment to a more sustainable building and operational practice.

Fiona Hogg Architect
Contact address:
Fiona Hogg Architect
Project Team
Project architect: Ms Fiona Hogg, Fiona Hogg Architect
Developer: Coco Eco
Structural consultant: Mr Bill Butler
Quantity consultant: Mr John Hogg
Photographer: Mr Tim Silbert
Other Team Members : Jenny Officer, Clare Mengler, Anastasia Katsimbardis

Photographs by Mr Tim Silbert, text by Fiona Hogg Architect

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects