House design to suit the tropical climate has always presented a challenge. To some, a tropical house is a room without walls, which has only columns and a roof to give shade and shelter but the majority are not so adventurous and prefer a more manageable environment. Utilising prevailing cooling breezes is an essential requirement in the tropics and the Cairns region is fortunate in being able to rely on constant and predictable “Easterlies”. Facing the primary living areas to these breezes will make the house more habitable and comfortable particularly if some cross ventilation is also provided.
The use of air-conditioning is of course desirable to control the high humidity during the wet season but proper orientation and use of the cooling breezes will reduce both the use and dependence on this system.
The initial sales office, at 2 Red Peak Boulevard, conforms to this design philosophy. The large, raised verandah forms an extension of the living and bedroom spaces and fronts the prevailing breezes with the “split” roof design giving the desirable cross flow effect with adjustable louvers at the high level. The “service” areas (bathroom, laundry, walk-in-robe and the like) form a spine on the least desirable western side of the house.
The general effect is one of lofty, cool, open spaces adjacent to (but not dominated by) the tropical surroundings.