Waitpinga Farmhouse Extension

An extension to a heritage listed farmhouse at ‘Santa Cruz’, Waitpinga at the base of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia



The design strategy employed by C4 Architects for this rural house extension has involved a considered response to the site context and environmental conditions to produce a rational and joyful new extension. Significant built elements of the site context beyond the limestone farmhouse included adjacent farm infrastructure such as shearer’s quarters, an outhouse and a concrete rainwater tank. Distant views across farmland, privacy from the adjacent road, the existing orchard and existing circulation routes through the site were also important contextual cues. Significant specific environmental conditions which influenced the design include the prevailing wind and the requirement for sheltered outdoor living areas, the availability of timber from the property as a fuel source and the balance required to be found between views and privacy and its impact on the passive energy efficiency of the building.

The rational approach to the design has resulted in an exposed galvanised steel structure which provides the form and logic for the living area of the extension. This steel framing is softened and enhanced by the strategic use of timber and limestone which help to create a warm and comfortable building. The entry side of the extension is comprised of two pavilions which take their formal cues from the humble galvanised farm buildings and contain the utility areas of the addition.

The property and the heritage listed farmhouse have been with the owner’s family for generations and the new addition will provide for sustainable family life on the farm for generations to come.

The house has been designed from a ‘first principles’ approach to environmental design including addressing orientation, local environmental characteristics such as reliable south westerly winds, access to winter sunshine, natural ventilation, access to natural light, and passive heating and cooling. Careful attention has been paid to the location of outdoor living areas to be compatible with prevailing environmental conditions. Other environmental technological elements have been integrated into the design from the beginning of the process.