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Lilypad House

Berlina Projects

NSW & ACT Entries 2011


Highly Commended, Residential Class 1 – New Buildings, 2011



This unique house is made up of more than 70% timber, with timber used extensively in the structure, cladding and internal finishes. Timber was specified rather than concrete: the designer favoured softer effects and the cost efficiencies achievable with wood.

Timber features in the portal frame, timber LVL bearers, joists and roof members, yellow tongue insulated flooring treated pine frames, cedar cladding, cedar windows, kitchen elements, and in the blackbutt flooring and decking. Curved elements were introduced into the structure to achieve a free flow feel. These elements include curved windows, glass and cladding.

The end effect is completed by two lilypad like structures; an internal structure forming the centre piece of the living area and supported on a circle steel ring beam; and a free standing carport structure.

Properties of the lilypad structure:

  1. Each lilypad is constructed from eight solid knee curved half portal glulam beams. These beams constructed from H3 radiata pine and are laminated with resorcinol glue. They have a joint group rating of GL10.

  2. 5.5m span.

  3. 2.8m knee height.

  4. 7 degree pitch.

  5. Member size leg 400mm at knee and tapering to 230mm x 90mm wide.

  6. Column 500mm at knee and tapering 300mm at apex.


The design, manufacture, transportation and installation of the gluman beams required careful coordination between designer, manufacturer, builder and client. It left no room error. Our efforts have, we believe, produced a unique example of what may be achieved with timber.
Entered into:
  • Australian Certified Timber, 2011
  • Timber as a Structural Element, 2011
  • Engineered Timber Products, 2011
  • Timber Flooring, 2011
  • Residential Class 1 New Buildings, 2011
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