Colo River

Colo River NSW
Site:This remote property on the pristine Colo River in NSW provides the setting for a gorgeous bushland retreat by the river. With access to the property through Wollemi National Park, and via 3 switchbacks down a rugged dirt track along a sandstone escarpment, this building project was not for the faint-hearted! Adding to the complications are the BAL Fz (or Flame zone) requirements for construction, and a healthy population of snakes and other wildlife. Brief:Our brief was to design a low maintenance and secure wilderness retreat for a couple who are passionate about the bush, river and bee-keeping. They had been using a (nearly) derelict building on the site for many years, but felt that they needed a more secure and comfortable place to enable them to enjoy this beautiful place. They asked for a modest sized single bedroom retreat, with open plan living space, bathroom areas and of course a bee-keeping space. Other design elements to consider included a deck to look out over the river in the evenings, perhaps with a bath inset into it, and an outside shower to rinse off after a day working in the bush. Design Features:The design of this retreat is primarily driven by the construction requirements of BAL Fz, the budget, and the need to restrict lengths of structural elements and minimise the volume of concrete required due to the restricted access. Our response was to articulate the building as a single element, with simple skillion roof wrapping down the end walls to frame the views to the south to the river, and optimise northern sunlight in winter. The external shell of end walls and roof are expressed in dark colorbond steel, and the body of the building is ├žarved' from this shell, expressed with the warm tones of corten steel. Steel cladding, high spec aluminium windows and doors, and steel bushfire shutters in combination with a hebel powerfloor will optimise protection from bushfire. The building has to be energy efficient, with intermittent mains power available. The roof will accommodate a PV array, with battery storage, and collect 120,000 litres of rainwater for both potable and fire fighting purposes. Construction:This building is currently under construction by KVell Constructions, due for completion by early 2020. UPDATE - this site was protected by the amazing RFS recently during the current Gospers Mountain bushfire crisis. The newly constructed access driveway to the site was used as a containment line for the fire, helping to slow its progress. The building is due for completion shortly. Result: