Upside Down House

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The Upside Down House is a three-bedroom farm house located in the historic farming town of Trundle, NSW. Designed and built in collaboration with Supermanoeuvre, the house offers two distinct domestic characters, one side of the house supports a working farm while the other provides a peaceful living environment that visually connects to the surrounding landscape.

Central to the project is a need for thermal efficiency due to the extreme Trundle climate, and a desire to frame cherished views across the landscape. In response, the Upside Down House inverts the flat ceiling and pitched roof of the traditional rural farmhouse to provide a flat roof with an undulating ceiling. This design move allows the ceiling to define internal space, direct attention into the distance, provide a large insulated ceiling cavity and offer ample space on the roof for rainwater and solar harvesting.

The house follows well established Australian solar passive design principles by orienting glazed aspects north, inviting winter sun as a heat source onto a concrete floor thermal mass while protecting from summer solar gain. In order to calibrate the solar benefits and to help minimise glare from the rising eastern sun, the design process utilised daylighting simulation to understand the building's performance throughout the year.

The interior spaces organise around thermal comfort and their relationship to the working farm by providing three types of environment, wet areas transition from farm to house, doubly insulated bedrooms provide quiet private space, while an isolatable open plan living maintains comfort for everyday use.

The project utilised locally grown and processed Cyprus pine which engaged with local material knowledge while deterring termite damage, a significant risk to housing in the area. The external appearance of the house resulted through research into Cyprus pine's material properties, and a subsequent interest in the ancient Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban. Apart from providing a beautiful visual effect, the charred timber adds waterproofing, increases termite resistance and protects from potential fire damage.

Myola existed as a full-service project, passing through all stages of sketch design, design development, construction documentation and contract administration working alongside local consultants and an excellent builder called Mick.