Top ideas for dream green homes

UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building Professor of Architecture and Associate Dean Anthony Burke has shared top tips for designing for a better world with Year 4 students.

The students are starting to research the “dream green homes” they will design with classmates this term.

“It’s about being good citizens for the planet,” said Professor Burke, also an IGS parent.

He encouraged students to think about the green spaces around their house, showing examples of important green spaces around architecturally famous houses and parks, such as Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, designed around a waterfall in 1935, and popular Bryant Park in New York.

“Spaces can be beautiful and quiet and at other times, active and vibrant.”

He invited the students to really push the boundaries with their thinking, drawings and models.

“If you have a crazy idea, go for it. One year, students at IGS designed a house with a shark tank!”

He showed of pictures extraordinary buildings, some perched on the side of cliffs and others in meadows and forests, suburbs and cities. Some were futuristic.

Professor Anthony Burke visits IGS to discuss architecture

“You are creative and imaginative people. Drawing is a way of thinking. It’s about finding out something. Draw plans, impressions and elevations. Do it a hundred times. Do it roughly and then more neatly. That’s how architects work. There’s no right answer. There’s just the next best drawing to do.”

Students should think about who would live in their dream green home, and the nature of the landscape in which it would be situated.

“Is it for Nan and Pop? Will there be pets? Is it a big family or a small one? Is it on a cliff or a hill? Where will the sunny spaces be? Where is the sun coming from? Where would you want to have a snooze in the afternoon?”

Walls could be made of shelves, or rolled away, and materials could include brick, timber, paper, recycled plastic, grass, recycled timber pallets and more.

The class discussed living in the clouds or trees, or with water, and the possibility of including a slippery dip. They even saw an example of a Japanese family using their roof as their living room.

Professor Burke encouraged them to think about what colours they would use, and how extreme the seasonal changes might be, saying their house should be “unique, sustainable and delightful”.