Port Elliot SA
Shane & Caroline Hendricks
Five years ago, Shane Hendriks, a South Australian builder and building designer, began planning and designing his most aspirational project: his own home.
Dubbed Rolling Cubes, the three-bedroom two-level home is made of five equal, yet different shapes: two main vertical cubes and two outer wing cubes that connect via a central cube.
This unconventional home is located in the picturesque town of Port Elliot on South Australia’s magnificent Fleurieu Peninsula. Any passerby would be forgiven for doing a double-take.The commanding structure stretches 40 metres wide and its highest point rises eight metres high into the sky.
Where did the innovative design idea come from? “I was playing with my kids and watching them play with boxes, I developed the concept from there,” Shane says simply.
Rolling Cubes embodies building design and construction principles opposite to conventional standards.“I did this as a challenge to myself. I wanted to push the limits and went out of my way to prove it could be done,” he explains.“I wanted to be quite different and do the opposite to what is normal.”
Like many new homes, Rolling Cubes began with a concrete slab, but that’s where it ends.The Australian-developed Terraçade terracotta facade tile system overlays the complex steel frame and internal walls of aerated concrete.
Terraçade is a lightweight walling system that acts as a rain screen and ventilated facade system.The tiles, each 300mm by 600mm, are captured on purposedesigned rails that can be fixed directly to most conventional building structures. The system is fully tested to all relevant Australian Standards and is suitable for use in cyclone areas and coastal locations.
With an eye for detail and quality, Shane saw the natural, earthy elements and stylish colours of Terraçade as a perfect visual match to his design concept.A blend of black, eggplant, khaki, mocha and light grey tile colours were chosen to create an earthy connection between the building and the environment. (Some colours may not be available in the current Terraçade colour palette.)
However, the real beauty behind Rolling Cubes lies just as much in the smart ecological design as in its creator’s capacity to think outside the box.
The ventilated cavity behind the Terraçade tiles complements the building’s energy management system by venting continuous ground-up airflows and thereby helping naturally moderate the internal temperature.
In the overall design process, long-term practicality also had an influence on the end result.“Terraçade tiles are a modern product, they need no maintenance or painting,” said Shane.The system is guaranteed for 15 years and there is a lifetime warranty on the colourfastness and durability of the tiles. Most system components are recyclable and the tiles are fully reusable.
Forty-six stairs unite two lower-level work areas and open up to a modest 270 square metres, including upstairs living space.“It’s a bit of labyrinth inside,” Shane admits.A central stairwell also leads to an upper level outdoor deck overlooking the native garden.
Rolling Cubes is fast becoming a landmark to locals and tourists alike.What really strikes one’s curiosity about this project is the natural synergy between art and architecture. It is a complex project and people perceive it as such.
But Rolling Cubes is more than just an unusual and eye-catching home.As Shane says, it is an art project. He attributes his creative talent to his father,Will, also a builder, who has turned his hand to art and sculpting in his retirement. It seems Shane is the beneficiary of his father’s artistic and visionary flair.
Terraçade is exclusively distributed within Australia by Alucobond. More information including comprehensive technical manuals and more design ideas at www.terracade.com.au.
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