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Reverse Shadow Casting in Northcote

Posted in Models by Kate Archdeacon on October 20th, 2010

Source: Inhabitat

© Photo by Ben Hoskins

From “Striking Australian Home is Shaped by the Sun’s Path” by Bridgette Meinhold

This amazing modern home in Northcote, Melbourne, features a building envelope that was carefully shaped to ensure maximum sun exposure in the backyard. The owners wanted to be sure they had full sun exposure in their garden to be able to grow vegetables year round, so Australia-based firm, Harrison & White focused upon smart solar design as one of the home’s most important strategies. The architects used a technique called “reverse shadow casting” to design the exterior and included sustainable materials like recycled plastic decking for the shade screen.


The completely sunlight garden space was achieved by cutting away parts of the home to allow both morning and evening sun to hit the backyard. This process is called reverse shadow casting – taking the area of space that is to have direct light and extruding it along the different paths of the sun. This area is then subtracted away from the area of the house, and what is left is a complex form designed with the aid of computer modelling.

After the form of the home was decided upon, the exterior of the house was fitted with a shade screen and ballustrading made out of NewTech™-CleverDeck® composite decking, which is made from recycled milk bottles and risk {sic} husks. The shade screen helps protect the interior of the home from solar exposure. Bamboo was used for the flooring inside the two-bedroom home, and durable white-coated steel was used for the exterior. The ground floor living space opens completely to the back yard and garden, while accordion doors aid in natural ventilation.

Read the full article by Bridgette Meinhold.

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