150m² + landscape
The design of this house began simply enough as two small separate buildings on undulating farmland land in central Victoria, one for the shared living zones and the other for the bedrooms. The complexity and scope has continued to increase however, as the client has revealed over time some of the significance of her personal notions of home, those elusive driving forces behind the more tangible and tactile wants and needs.
Early on, the schematic design took its cues from the collection of early Swiss-Italian sandstone houses and the rural tin or timber sheds found in the local area. The client had expressed a great appreciation of these old estates, in which one can see the story of the properties through the growth and decay of these structures - old sitting next to new - capturing past and present use. Looking to these regional patterns became an aid in the manner in which this small house was to engage with the site specifically - through materials, construction techniques and planning - as well as with the broader historical context. Hoping to create a building that continues the progressing narrative.
The site is a broad flat clearing that has already been carved into the side of a gently sloping hill on 70 acres of open and wooded farmland. Something of a perfect site, this has created its own challenges in the simple fact that the constraints are few, necessitating the dissection of a singular module into several in order to formulate a language between each building type as one responds to the other. To the north and east the site enjoys uninterrupted views over the properties dams, flats and hills and to the west is established eucalyptus bushland. For such a structure to hold its own within this landscape the building needs to wear it's history and newness with pride, siting tall and placing equal value on each aspect, having no back, front or sides.