The clients wanted a holiday home at the coast which they and their 60 Koi fish could move to when they retire. Animals, and the protection of the earth’s natural resources, was second on their list of ‘must-haves’. Strey Architects was presented with low lying stand at the end of a Cul-de-Sac,with views of an indigenous forest & a natural marshland. Because there was a sharp drop away from the street, and most of the stand would have been taken up by a driveway ramp, it was decided to create an ‘upside-down’ house on various levels, which looks like it sits on a lake for the Kois, typical of Sub-tropical architecture.
The swimming pool water is cleaned by overflowing through a wall of plants and through a small wetland into the Koi pond. PV panels charge two electrical systems, one for the house and one to make sure the Koi pond water never stops circulating.
The tour de force is a glass wall in the office/gym, with views below water of the Koi ‘pets’, which comes when they are called, and a view over the water towards the marshland & indigenous forest.
Architect’s comments: A holiday home, which will later serve as a retirement home, was required by a middle-aged, affluent couple. They required an ‘off-the-grid’ home for them & their 60 pet Koi fish, making the most of the indigenous forest. A separate main suite close to the Koi & living area flowing out onto a deck & infinity pool, two separate guest suites for visits from their adult children’s families, as well as double staff quarters, was the very specific brief given to us. We were faced with a stand which featured a steep drop-off at the bottom of a cul-de-sac, and a view of the forest towards the North-West.