Playing by different rules

An innovative construction process using environmentally sustainable design principles results in a multi-award winning development
view of the hall/stairway featuring timber flooring, steel architecture, ceiling, floor, flooring, hardwood, house, interior design, lobby, real estate, stairs, wood, wood flooring, brown
view of the hall/stairway featuring timber flooring, steel ballustrades

When developing a multi-stage project on the coast, the foremost directive is to maximise the view usually at the cost of the surrounding environment. What happens when you set out to design such a development, that deliberately aims to minimise the physical and visual impact it will have, yet retain the views it will have out to the ocean?

Surely camouflaging the development would result in obscuring the reciprocal view? Not if you think from an environmentally sustainable design (ESD) standpoint, says Viridian Noosa director Bob Borger.

"This project needed to fulfil a number of town planning codes, which presented some design challenges. The most significant of these was to ensure the houses couldn't be seen from the beach, or the main street."

Six of the eight houses are situated in rehabilitated bushland on part of the 20ha site on Noosa Hill.

"The houses were designed in such a way as to follow the contour of the land, effectively twisting' around the trees, rather than have a traditional square footprint," says Borger.

Aside from helping to conceal the houses, the trees provide passive solar protection. By acting to reduce the amount of direct heat that accumulates in the homes throughout the day, the trees have reduced the dependence on air conditioning.

view of the kitchen featuring timber flooring, frosted countertop, interior design, kitchen, real estate, wood, brown, orange
view of the kitchen featuring timber flooring, frosted glass tables, stainless steel sink / taps, and white cabinetry

Architectural elements, such as louvred shutters and bifold doors, encourage cross-ventilation and contribute to the ESD elements of the project as do the rainwater tanks and gas hot water systems.

From a design stance, the shuttered verandahs and timber accents are derivative of plantation architecture a nod to the previous occupant, who until 1970, operated a banana plantation.

Although the codes for stage two of the development Viridian Residences weren't as stringent, the onus was still on minimising the visual impact on the hillside.

"Architecturally, the residences are a superb example of what can be achieved through the use of innovative thinking and good design practices," says Borger.

Like the houses, the residences stay true to the overall ESD principles, by utilising the same environmentally conscious applications.

The residences were designed with a simple functionality in mind. Open-plan areas flow into each other, both indoors and outdoors, creatinga sense of equality between the natural and built environments.

view of the bathroom featuring timber veneer vanity, bathroom, floor, home, interior design, room, sink, window, brown, gray
view of the bathroom featuring timber veneer vanity, cantilevered square basin, stainless fixutre and fittings, spa bath

Since completion of the houses and residences, the Viridian project has gained several awards for its design and construction. The final stage a family resort is yet to be started, but already the lessons learned will be incorporated into its production, says Borger.

"Like the stages before it, Viridian III continues our commitment to setting the benchmark for environmentally sensitive architectural design."

Borger says the Viridian resort comprising a number of apartments and villas is set to receive the same level of investor interest that accompanied the first two stages. However, the focus has changed given the ultimate use of the residences.

"Originally the residences were conceived for owner-occupiers, but as it transpired they are now being offered as holiday homes. This has prompted us to reconsider Viridian III for holiday accommodation," says Borger.

For more details, contact Viridian Noosa, phone (07) 3229 8938, fax (07) 3220 2273. Email: or visit the website:

Oct 20, 2006
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