Paradigm Architects
Paradigm Architects
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Cocos Island Residence

Project: New Residence
Location: Cocos Island, Western Australia
Date: October 2004
Project Architect: Fiona Hogg


The designing a residence to be located on the tropical Cocos (Keeling) Islands subject to cyclones, exposure to corrosive salt ladened winds and a remote location with difficult access. All components of the building had to be designed to be both modular to enable ease of construction and to fit within a shipping container. All materials required for construction had to be considered and transported to Cocos that does not have readily available resources.

The residence is designed to be bolted together on site and externally lined with standard fibre cement with timber cover battens to joins. The residence is generally roofed with aluminium roof sheeting due to the highly corrosive environmental conditions. The Kitchen/ Meals and ablutions ‘pavilions’ of the house is roofed with grey tint polycarbonate sheeting that both allows collection of potable rainwater and provides plentiful light to these areas. An internal lining of bamboo ‘blinds’ to the underside of the polycarbonate filters the light.

The residence in response to unique site, location and climate was designed with kitchen/ meals/ laundry/ ablutions and sleeping areas are simply connected/ separated by a central breezeway. The breezeway enjoys views to both the ocean and lagoon and permits access for prevailing breeze when required. The breezeway can be closed off from the elements and the ‘trade winds’ when desired with vinyl roller doors at either end. Solid shutters and glass louvres are provided throughout to provide breeze flow though the dwelling while minimising sun penetration and providing some privacy.

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