Desert Rose – Solar Decathlon Update

Residential & Specialist Housing
by Mark

Saturday week ago, our Wollongong Studio was opened to TAFE and University of Wollongong students who form the team embarking on the Solar Decathlon referred to in a recent blog. The Desert Rose follows the trail blazed by the award winning Illawarra Flame, now proudly sited at the UOW Innovation Campus.

Our new Wollongong studio is proving to be a great venue for engagement with clients, consultants and other lives we touch in the Illawarra. Once again, Edmiston Jones GBB is assisting mentoring the students as they work through the design of the zero energy house to be constructed here in Wollongong, shipped to the UAE and then reconstructed in Dubai.

Cross discipline groups were formed with students from UOW’s engineering, commerce and communication faculties. TAFE staff with expertise in aged care and sustainability provided advice moving amongst the teams. The students worked through concept designs thinking carefully about a typical ‘day in the life’ of the imagined residents, an elderly couple, aging in place.

Each proposal had interesting ideas that struggled with the conflicting requirements. The need for one of the residents with dementia to have a direct line of sight between the bedroom and the ablutions, as well as from the kitchen to the dining area, competed with the separation of spaces required for men and women in the Islamic tradition.  The preference for privacy had to be balanced with a culture of hospitality. All this while designing for the harsh Dubai climate!

After a short break for lunch, the teams presented their sketch designs to a jury formed by our friends Caroline Pidcock (Architect with expertise in sustainability), Iain Brammer (Landscape Architect) and Jacqui Parrish, Strategy and Accommodation Manager at IRT.  A clear direction for the design concept evolved on the day. This was then developed and submitted as the first deliverable last Monday.

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