Wright House

It was developed as an investment property for the client – Wright family. This is where the conceptual framework emerged in form of helical minimal surface geometry – like that of the Wright brother’s first kite flyer, airfoils and even the tail of a breaching southern right whale.

We’ve found the (W)right proportion in the Golden section and used in the Fibonacci spiral dissection as a form of fractal design generator. The project attempts a democratic poetry as a result of conflicting forces & contradictions producing bizarre results. Helicoidal twist was a generator for roof forms. Then intention was to create a strange attractor, an enigmatic signifier – an extraordinary landmark that doesn’t look like anything identifiable.

The result is a striking building which has an undeniable public presence, visible from the main road into Port Douglas. The project acts as a counterpoint to the neighbouring “Queenslanders” and suggests an alternative.

We wanted to create a very ‘cool’ house. The entire building opens onto reflection ponds and pools allowing for evaporative cooling. The whole house has been oriented and further engineered to utilise and control the prevailing winds & summer breezes, and works as an aperture for venturi effect. As air is pulled through the house by thermal chimneys with mechanically operated vents at high level forming feature clerestory voids to the articulated plywood ceilings. The house creates its own breezes on the stillest day.

In 2008 the project was awarded the FNQ residential architecture award from the Australian Institute of Architects and is published as one of the top 150 houses in the world.