Budgong House, in NSW’s picturesque Kangaroo Valley, sits amongst tranquil rivers and enchanting rural vistas. But such an idyll often comes with a darker side. In this instance, that darker side includes blazing summer heat, high winds and the omnipresent threat of bushfire.
To fully understand the conditions, the architect, Ben Vitale, chose to live on site for some time before commencing his design. “Something that we worked really hard on was actually analysing the sun throughout the year and also the wind in that environment. As simple as that sounds, it was quite important to ensure that the rooves were at the exact right angle. You’re never going to get it exactly right but it’s trying to ensure that, in those really hot summer days when the sun is just beating down, you do have that canopy of shade.”
The home is centred around a spine that connects two separate pavilions. Stone walls, quarried on site, cap each end of the home’s pavilions on the east and west. Stretching between these caps are massive expanses of glass. Finding the right glazing product was essential. “Thermally broken section is quite important to us,” says Ben. “We worked really hard on sealing the building up to the window frame and we just didn’t want to then lose all of that work through the frames themselves.”
AWS ThermalHEART™ products were chosen for the build. Durable and fully tested, the products are Australian-made and locally manufactured by DLG Aluminium and Glazing. “The thermally broken window system is probably one of very few in the market that will also perform in terms of weight and operation of the windows,” says Ben. “The ability for the window system to perform in a bushfire area and to have BAL rating is critical. The AWS system definitely allowed us flexibility.”
Fabricator: DLG Aluminium & Glazing Pty Ltd
Architect: Ben Vitale, Vitale Design
Photographer: Nicholas Watt