Laptop Pro

South Melbourne   2008

A contemporary design has been achieved that respects the existing character, whilst enhancing the amenity of the modest existing dwelling. South Melbourne is characterised by an eclectic range of developments many extended Victorian and Edwardian cottages located on narrow blocks. This tradition of appropriate densification is followed in the alterations and additions of ‘Laptop Pro’.


ESD Case Study

The proposed design is thoughtful of solar conditions. Given the large buildings surrounding the site to the North and East, a deliberate strategy of incorporating a central courtyard was adopted. The major living spaces are located upstairs and overlook this courtyard and have a visual connection to the roof deck P.O.S. . The location of this courtyard was determined by careful analysis of the existing overshadowing from surrounding buildings.

Through this strategic orientation, energy efficiency is maximised by incorporating thermal mass and solar storage into the design. Most of the glazing is located in this part of the building – the living areas that benefit most from passive solar heating. The bedroom below has fewer openings, but enjoys borrowed ambient light from the courtyard.

By building to the boundaries we are able to reduce the building perimeter/area ratio and reduce building bulk. This means we can achieve better control of solar access and that the energy efficiency of existing dwellings on adjoining lots is enhanced.

The courtyard also provides the opportunity for cross ventilation to the main living space. By locating a water pond in the courtyard, the courtyard will cool the building in summer through evaporative cooling. Ventilation opportunities have been identified through a study of the site’s micro-climate. By controlling and or manipulating the flow of natural breezes, the building can be cooled and heated with a minimum use of mechanical ventilation.

All these strategies allow a greater degree of natural light to enter the home, thereby reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Materials chosen for the design have been assessed for their consumption of energy in the manufacturing process and for their ability to be recycled in the future.