World Architecture News

Noel Robinson Architects construct client's personal paradise in the land Down Under

Georgina Johnston

An international German industrial hemp magnate has spent tens of millions of dollars to create his dream eco 'hideaway' in Queensland

In the owner's words, he wanted a very private, hidden new dimension, in eco-embracing pacific paradise living.

Domic, a place of domes, now occupies one of the most coveted beachside sites in the southern hemisphere. The dome-like home set into the sand on the edge of Noosa National Park has set a new level of design and sustainability, pushing the boundaries on what can be done on a steep sandy beachfront site.

Domic states straight out to the Pacific Ocean 120km north of Brisbane on the Sunshine Coast but it can only be seen from out at sea or the beach below.

The entrepreneur knew exactly what he wanted when he settled on purchasing the one hectare piece of land adjoining the park. The domes created large internal volumes without the need for pillars.

"We wanted it to have minimal visual presence. The only place you see the house is from the beach or if you're coming from the Noosa National Park. It was not meant to look like a building. It was to look like a landscape. It needed to have a level of intrigue. It's camouflaged by the green roof designed to blend with the neighbouring vegetation of of the national park." — E. Skigin, Client

Leading Australian architect Noel Robinson, of the NRA Collaborative, took Mr Skigin's ideas and eco-enthusiasm and channelled a design that is supreme luxury and elegance as well as being eco-efficient too. The building took three years to construct.

The property has cutting edge technology and design; using Hempcrete as a walling product that carbon captures C02 in its curing and has superior acoustic and insulation properties. Hempcrete is a product combining industrial hemp and concrete, and provides significant thermal and sound insulation properties. Domic uses Hempcrete in its construction; it's a lightweight but strong and durable material made from hemp that absorbs carbon dioxide while being made. Hempcrete compliments the many other sustainable innovations and aspects of the house. The Hempcrete panels used in the house were manufactured in the Netherlands by Mr Skigin's Dutch Hemp Group and imported specifically for the residence.

The construction of the shells took a long time to conceive. They produce complex shapes because not all the walls were parallel, so they are three dimensional shells. It was becoming a sculptured building. The shells also had to be waterproof to accomodate the rooftop landscape. Of particular interest is how the shells look out to sea and Evgeny's desire to soften the edge of the building using what he described at the time as "eyelids". They were designed by Evgeny himself and fashioned from an idea that caught his own eye in Europe. — N. Robinson, Architect