Light and shade transformation at Seaholme, Melbourne

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At Seaholme in Melbourne, an interwar period house has been retrofitted to improve sustainability.

Rainwater has been captured to large tanks and grey water recycled through a plant filtration system. This recycled water fills a raised pool and drops to a rill, cutting a central, north-south axis from the back of the house to a rear screen.

Patterns of foliage hanging over the pools, create filtered light and shade and a sense of peace and serenity.

West-facing walls are cooled by a cladding of Boston Ivy in summer, which drops it leaves in winter to let in light and warmth.

In summer, a pergola of ornamental grape vines forms a green roof over the rear terrace and shades the north-facing windows of the house. In autumn, this turns to flaming reds and golden yellows, while in winter after leaf drop, the sunlight pours through the rear windows lighting and warming the house.

At the side of the house, an open-air loggia has been built, running the distance of the driveway. Wisteria has formed a tunnel of green and mauve, shading the west -facing walls and windows in summer.

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light, shade and plant-driven designs

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