Thinking Solar with Three Melbourne Architects


    Tour three standout Australian residential projects that shed light on Shade Factor’s premium shade products.

    Australian residential architecture involves a deep understanding of our diverse climate and its various constraints, one being sun exposure and its effect on everyday life. Australian architects have trusted Shade Factor for more than 25 years to deliver comprehensive shade solutions for their projects. Stocking a range of exclusive brands, including Blindspace, Caravita and Warema, they offer products that enhance spaces through a deeper sense of comfort and wellbeing. 

    Among the many architects who specify Shade Factor in their residential projects are Melbourne-based studios Carr, Architecture Works and Michael Ong Design Office. Through three different projects by the studios respectively, we explore the appeal and functionality of Shade Factor’s products in the context of contemporary Australian homes.

    Produced in partnership with Shade Factor

    Peninsula House by Carr

    Carr designed the Peninsula House as a pavilion-style home to sit gently among the dunes on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. With its striking exterior, the home forms a strong presence along the rugged coastline on which it stands. Its proximity to the elements, while technically challenging, was the essence of the design for Carr.

    The design incorporates extensive glazing along the ocean-facing side, drawing the outside in. On the one hand, the windows bathe the living spaces in natural light and open them up to spectacular views. On the other hand, they raise the challenge of solar control, the solution to which was Blindspace’s plaster-in blind concealment boxes from Shade Factor. This integrated solution neatly stores blinds inside specially designed boxes, so they’re entirely concealed when not used.

    “The blind concealment boxes were a great solution for Carr as they were seeking light and glare control without compromising the ocean views,” Shade Factor marketing manager Rosalind Caligari says. “The result strikes this perfect balance where occupants can escape the summer sun while still enjoying a sense of connection to nature.”

    Gallery House by Architecture Works

    This home in Melbourne’s southeast embraces its lush garden setting through openings that ‘picture frame’ the garden’s focal points. Architecture Works director Steven Kysintas says the brief was to blur the lines between inside and outside through large expanses of glass, which flood the home in natural light. While this cultivates a relaxed internal atmosphere, it also puts into question how the sun will be controlled throughout the day.

    Architecture Works specified Warema’s external venetian blinds from Shade Factor, which manage light and glare while also reducing heat gain within the home – thereby improving comfortability and limiting the need for artificial cooling. In addition to being extended and retracted, the venetian slats can be tilted at various angles.

    In the Gallery House kitchen, the external venetian blinds cast horizontal lines of light onto the rich timber and stone. “In this example of using the external venetian blinds, we see how they can create this beautiful light play internally,” Rosalind says. The designer has also considered the position of the island bench, with the seats facing the window, and how occupants will need to be shaded at certain times of the day. “Making the room more usable, and the homeowner’s everyday life easier and more enjoyable is our main goal,” Rosalind says.

    The Boulevard House by Michael Ong Design Office

    Michael Ong Design Office have connected an existing home in Melbourne’s northeast to its context through a new extension that prioritises opening to the surrounding garden. With this increased connectivity comes a greater emphasis on solar control, so MODO integrated Warema’s external venetian blinds from Shade Factor into the design. “With a home like this, where the landscape is just as much a part of the home as the interiors, one must consider how to best respond to it. Daylight and solar heat gain control is an integral part of this,” Rosalind says.

    The extension presents as a robust rectangular form from the outside, marked by timber slats and black contours. “Rather than being purely practical, the blinds are clearly expressed as part of the architectural language,” Rosalind says. Combined with the concrete steps, the materials create a strong visual contrast with the garden.

    The Boulevard House by Michael Ong Design Office | Photography by Derek Swalwell

    The Boulevard House by Michael Ong Design Office | Photography by Derek Swalwell


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Enquire Now