Citrus House


Location | Narrabundah, ACT

Date completed | October 2015

EER | 7.5 stars

Area | 166m²

Builder | Jigsaw Housing

Images | Rod Vargas


The modest, quiet achiever

Set on a street where early older houses are rapidly being replaced with imposing new structures, this home is in keeping with the modest proportions and humble material schemes of nearby early Canberra houses. However, a clear line of departure from these often poorly designed predecessors becomes evident upon entering the home.

Warm and light-filled, the arrangement of spaces and sightlines balances privacy with connection to various outdoor spaces. The building wraps around a central courtyard, allowing winter sunshine to penetrate both the living and sleeping wings, and defining a private patch of sky protected from the busy street.

The material scheme is kept simple with highlights coming from splashes of colour, timber joinery and old Canberra red bricks, assiduously collected by the owners over many months. A striking arrangement of colours comes from the much-loved citrus tree glimpsed at the end of the corridor.

We have settled into our home - it is just lovely. We really think there needs to be greater awareness about of the value of smart design and construction - our experience and house is just too good not to share so as to educate people on how easy it can be to make a wonderful home!
— The clients


Key features

3 bed, 2 living, 2 bath

650m² sloping site fronting a major road to the NE

Single carport

Floor finishes: burnished concrete, carpet and tiles

A U-shaped design provides privacy while allowing winter solar gain


High performance PVC double glazing

R1 insulated slab

R2.5 insulation to exterior walls

R1.5 insulation to interior walls

R5 insulation to the roof space

Vapour permeable building wrap to walls and roof

Minimal air leakage, well sealed building envelope

Solar hot water