Inspired by the site and the client’s lifestyle, personality and interests, this home was designed to embrace what was unique to its site, encompass passive environmental design principles and utilise materials that flowed seamlessly between internal and external spaces to diminish the sense of walls and strengthen the connection to the surrounding landscape. The architecture and interiors enhance and enrich each other, to working simultaneously as one to create a unique, functional and aesthetically timeless design.
A magnificent 100 year old fig tree in the centre of the site became the focal point for the design. From the view upon arrival at the entry to every living space in the home, views north towards the fig tree and surrounding hills beyond can be enjoyed. The northern aspect is maximised with an elongated plan containing a central spine separating living areas to the north and wet areas to the south.
Punctuated along the spine are courtyards and breezeways making the most of natural light and cross-ventilation. Along the central spine, sliding doors can be used to contain or zone areas in particular for heating in cooler months. Timber louvres used internally on bedroom walls also promote air movement when bedroom doors are closed.
The design of the home facilitates a strong connection to the landscape. Sitting lightly on the higher part of the site, the lawn mounds up gently from the lower fig tree to the central north-facing courtyard and deck. The difference between inside and outside is subtle and blurred due to the openness of the planning, extensive full height glazing and flow of materials used internally and externally. A creek bed that divides the site was embraced as another unique aspect that could further enhance the design. Supported by v-posts, the wing end of the master bedroom cantilevers over the bank edge. When the creek is flowing, the trickle of flowing waters can be heard from within the master bedroom further strengthening the connection to the site’s landscape.
The architecture and interiors are unified with a refined palette of materials that were chosen for their textural qualities, colour and ability to be used both internally and externally to enhance the flow of inside to outside, breaking down the sense of walls and allowing one to feel more connected to the beautiful site. The four main materials are timber decking and flooring, dark stained timber wall cladding, the white form of the wrap down roof and grey honed blockwork used for the garage and as features to the internal fire place and external bbq.
A feature to the western wall is the external decking wrapping up to form a balustrade that continues inside to form the master bedroom bedhead and further flow through to the ensuite to become the vanity bench and joinery. Similarly the white form of the roof wraps down externally and internally to frame picturesque slot views to the west. Just as the flooring flows inside and out the external wall cladding continues from outside to inside and runs the length of the hallway spine and into the master bedroom.
Encompassing passive environmental design principles the home is also totally self sufficient (off the grid) supplying all of its own main services which include generating solar power to be sold back to the grid, onsite effluent treatment and rainwater collection.