The owner says the covered outdoor area shown here is ‘great for entertaining’. A pergola runs the length of one side of the home with wisteria and passionfruit vines, which are part of the passive design. ‘It’s a deciduous vine –– in other words it loses its leaves in winter so it lets the sun shine through, but in summer it has this rich crop of beautiful flowers and leaves to provide shade,’ Mr. Zaat says.
This modern country home sits on a coastal ridgeline in a small village in far north New South Wales state. Owner John Zaat, an architect who designed the house, purchased the land and built it in 1998.
Mr. Zaat says he adopted a passive solar design, which includes thick concrete internal walls and well insulated external walls, and ceiling fans throughout the home. ‘The main house is a concrete slab on the ground with a tile finish, so you get heat transferred to and from the ground,’ he says. There is also a separate guesthouse.
The owner added a new master bedroom wing in 1996, shown here. It has a pyramidal roof, polished timber floors, an en suite and walk-in closets. ‘I am particularly fond of sunlight reflecting off water so I put a reflecting pond outside the window, which in turn looks straight down the length of the lap pool,’ Mr. Zaat says. The bedroom opens to a deck, where Mr. Zaat and his wife, Helen, look out at the mountain. It also has its own mezzanine level, which is used as a parents’ retreat…