On the table on the ‘Small is beautiful’ page you can add or delete the number of rooms that will form your home. Once you have established what suits you best then I would draw up the rooms as individual pavilions and amalgamate those rooms that have a dual function, like bathing and washing, into one pavilion, then kitchen, eating and entertainment into another pavilion. Now I would cut out the individual pavilions and place the ‘bubble’ on a flat surface and orientate them to suit your block of land.
Pavilion-style building suits most of our climate types around Australia. We do not have snow for many months of the year nor do we have perma-frost! We should design to suit our climatic conditions, which for most of us is the ability to keep cool in summer. This thinking allows us to orientate each pavilion according to the desire for a cool pavilion in summer and a warm one in winter. Establish the number of hours you are in a particular room and when you are in that room (asleep or awake). We have orientated our ‘marriage room’ facing west and east. We like to wake up to the rising sun and as we always go to bed late – after 10:00 pm most nights – we have no problem with a westerly aspect.
Our living room is facing north with enough glass windows to give good passive solar heating of the slate floor – this gives us good solar heating during the winter nights. It is in this room, which comprises our kitchen, dining and living room, where we spend most of our time awake. Therefore it makes sense to us to have a passive solar pavilion. The south wall will have a rainforest pergola and the north wall will have a deciduous pergola. We can bring in cool air through the south wall in summer and heating through the north wall in winter.
We have three other pavilions that make up our home. The bathhouse is situated next to the marriage room and is connected by an enclosed covered walkway. The bathhouse faces north and has a high north wall with windows along its full length. The bathhouse functions very well as we tend to bathe in the evening and in winter the sun beats down onto the earthen-rendered wall and this wall heats up during the day and releases its stored heat as soon as the temperature drops down. Jack’s Flat (above right) is a self-contained (no kitchen) cottage joined to the marriage room by an open walkway.
Jack’s Flat functions as a guest house for our children, grandchildren and friends when they visit us in Ganmain. These four pavilions described above are joined in one way or the other and all the rooms are built with the load-bearing method. The fifth building is a stand-alone round house which will function as my sacred space (that means there will be a TV dedicated for my entertainment!).
Finally our dog, Jessica, now has the sixth pavilion. We have built a seventh small pavilion, which is being used by Susan as her studio for her inspirational furniture making.