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Marika-Alderton House

Eastern Arnhem Land, Australia
1 of 6

The house was built for Aboriginal artist Banduk Marika and her partner in the specific tropical climate with high humidity where temperatures never drop below 25 o and can reach 40 o. Location near the Mangrove forest and Afafura Sea is causing winds and strong tides so was a big challenge to create a strong structure to withstand hurricane winds and keep out various species of reptiles and spiders.

Concept design

An economic and sustainable prototype sample serving the Australian authorities to build and adapt to the place, where aborigines can live. Murcutt did extensive research about Aboriginal culture and history, by spending time with family he could better understand customer needs. Marika House demonstrates the ability to adapt its principles and ideas of architecture to the different demands of the tropical climate. This thoroughly studied tropical monsoon climate, the movement of the wind, sun and water over three years. The opening and closing system is adaptable to the climate changes.


The house is a steel gable on a platform high straight. The gable roof provides ample overhangs to keep the sun off the four walls of the house, being mainly in the north facade generous. On the south side have been arranged vertical slats that protect deep inside the sun. The house is sheltered from the sun by using wide eaves. Rotating tubes along the roof expel warm air and vertical fins, facing the ocean, capture, slow speed and the incoming fresh and fragrant ocean breezes in the interior spaces of the house creating a more comfortable environment. The structure rests on piles allowing wind flowing below, helping to cool the soil. This elevation also protects the home from storm, flood, animals and safeguard the natural vegetation of the area, as it is intact.

The architect uses simple materials, walls painted or stained wood, eucalyptus wood blinds and metal roofs coarrugada. The rectangular structure is steel and hardwood to withstand the tropical rains. This prefabricated structure was performed by two local craftsmen and assembled in a few days, reducing costs, time and energy required to lift a building.

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bostjan, April 20th, 2016
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