“The clients wished to create a house that sat comfortably in the landscape as well taking inspiration from the existing farm buildings on site”
The house is sited as part of a working farm Green Hills Farm that has been established by the client to regenerate 150 acres of West Gippsland pasture and bushland. The house functions as a centre for their operations, a family home and a place from which they can offer different experiences. The property is accessed via a steep road that overlooks the remainder of the property below. The house is approached past the orchard and garden beds of the farm and the main house is nestled into the hill with a timber board and batten wall facing the approach. As you enter the breezeway through a large red sliding barn door, the space opens up to the valley below. The central breezeway uses recycled brick that contrasts with the rough timber lining boards used throughout the house. The boards reflect the timber boards that were on the interior of the milking sheds that used to stand on the site. To the left is the large central space with glazing to the full extent of the West façade looking over the valley. The space is defined by several large, exposed timber trusses and columns supporting the timber-lined roof. The trusses were constructed on site by the builder. The rear wall features the same recycled brick used in the breezeway. The floor is burnished concrete, and this material is echoed in the kitchen benchtops. The interior uses black detailing in the joinery, steel splashback and the steel plates joining the timber trusses.
The far end wall has a custom formed concrete bench with a steel firewood rack at one end. An open fireplace perches on the bench with exposed flue through the ceiling.
The bedroom wing is on the other side of the breezeway and has two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a master bedroom and Ensuite. A central hallway runs along the length with the rough boards on the bedroom side contrasting with white full height joinery on the other side. The master bedroom at the end commands views over the valley, with timber detailing in the flooring and joinery. The master Ensuite and bathroom contrast with a continuation of the black theme used in the kitchen.
To the South of the main house is a studio that again uses the language and materiality of the old shed that stood on the site. The exterior is clad with rusty galvanised iron, contrasted with black detailing in the flashings and windows. The interior is finished in limed plywood on the walls and ceiling with a burnished concrete floor. The kitchen is detailed with contrasting black cupboards. The bathroom pod is accessed past storage cupboards. The bathroom is lined in simple galvanised ripple iron that follows the curves of the exterior walls.
The space is used as a retreat from the main house and for visitors to the farm.
Builder: JW & WM Woodbridge Building Pty Ltd.
“The design challenge was to create a comfortable house that addressed the unique site constraints of a narrow and steep block."
The site is located on the Paynesville canals with water access. The site has an 8m drop from the top of the site to the water and averages 9m wide. As such the site presented some unique design challenges.
The house has 3 storeys with a boatshed/storage area on the lower level, living area on the ground floor with a bedroom and ensuite. A master bedroom with ensuite, second bedroom/study and living area on the first floor.
The entry to the house is down a walkway on the side of the house, where you enter via a vivid red door with a custom timber handle. Upon entering you are presented with an elegant timber stair and timber panelling to the hallway. Behind two secret doors in the panelling is a powder room and laundry. As you make your way through to the living area, the space encapsulates sweeping views to the North across the canal to the nature reserve opposite. Likewise, the master bedroom on the first floor looks North across to the lake.
The house’s street frontage is a simple combination of two forms with an angled white ribbed roof form that comes down over the white brick garage. The house somewhat “turns its back” on the street and doesn’t reveal its true nature until you enter it. The street façade is blank with the majority of the windows oriented to the view.
The building is a composition in whites and greys that relies on its forms to give it its character.
The East and West facades have simple white walls with windows punched in them, while the North façade has two dramatically cantilevered decks overlooking the view.
The interiors use a palette of more natural materials with polished concrete floor on the ground level that uses the local granite aggregate with a warm tone. The kitchen and entry have timber accents against white joinery with a floating timber bulkhead over the kitchen bench and timber panelling in the entry. The bathrooms and powder room are accented with striking black and white tiles.
The clients have often commented on how much they enjoy living in this house for its natural light, having the changing views directly accessible from their main rooms, and the fact that it feels spacious despite its small footprint.
Paynesville – Driftwood Close House
“Our clients purchased the land for its location on the Paynesville canals with a mooring and its views towards the lakes.”
Our clients for this project sought a house that was distinctly their style. It therefore incorporates several unique features such as the curved portico at the entry and the polished copper entry doors.
The house is a two storey construction that has views to both the lake and the canals. The upper storey captures both views while the ground floor frames the views over the canal. The house incorporates several technologies including solar hot water, solar photovoltaic panels on the roof for power generation, hydronic in slab heating and air conditioning throughout.
The client was heavily involved with the design of the interiors that include several bespoke items such as a copper finished curved entry wall and a timber entry stair. In addition the master bedroom has a custom made screen that divides the bedroom from the walk in robe.
The exterior has low maintenance landscaping down to the mooring with a distinctive boat shed that has a circular cut out shape in the middle to lift it above the expected form for this type of building.
“The clients wanted a simple – cost effective house that captured the sweeping views of the valley below.”
The property is a family farm where the clients had stayed in an old farm building on the site when they visited. They wanted a more comfortable, yet simple house that would be their “weekender” residence. The building is sited at the top of a hill that looks down across the property to the river below. It is a single storey residence with a master bedroom and ensuite, 2 visitor bedrooms with shared bathroom, a rumpus room and living /kitchen area. The main living area has folding doors that open out onto a large North facing entertaining deck. The living area and deck are oriented to capture the sweeping views of the valley and river below. The building is designed in an East West orientation to provide maximum North light and passive solar design to all of the rooms. The staggered layout shelters the deck area from the cold Westerly winds.
The exterior is clad in corrugated iron to reflect both the farm aesthetic and as well as to provide a low maintenance and cost-effective solution. The interiors use a simple pallet of white materials with a warm timber floor in the lounge area.
Bancroft View House - Metung
“The client wished to elevate the building to capture the views towards Bancroft Bay.”
This house is designed with the primary living areas on the first floor. This raises the building above the surrounding houses and vegetation to enable views towards Bancroft bay.
The first floor of the house is suspended on a long charcoal blockwork spine wall that forms a strong visual base to the building. On the ground floor is the garage and laundry which form the lower ground entry. The main entry at the front of the house is via a bridge over a dry creek bed landscape. The entry stair is enclosed behind a timber wall. Locally sourced hardwood is used throughout the external elements of the building including soffits, decking and structural framing. Detailing of these elements including the external stairs and handrails was carefully considered to make them an integral feature of the building. The North facing upper deck is nestled amongst the trees and the palm tree on the site makes it almost a “tropical” feeling space.
The external cladding at the first floor is cement sheeting that has been broken up into a jigsaw of rectangles to provide a subtle variation to the façade. It is broken up further with timber detailing and a strong red colour to the walls.
The interiors were designed to have a light and clean look but to have a warmth at the same time.
Internally the building is bathed in light from windows on all sides. Timber is again used extensively throughout with narrow timber floor boards and timber veneer to the built in joinery. The remainder of the joinery uses black and white in contrast, with splashes of colour through the choices of furniture upholstery.
The bathrooms use white and timber elements with variations in texture and patterns in the tiles while maintaining the clean contemporary look.
“The Newlands Arm house uses a bold white grid across its façade in contrast to the dark boxes that make up the building”
The building is designed around the idea of rectangular forms from the floor plan to the elevation with its gridded façade. The external building is clad in a dark brown vertical weatherboard that is contrasted by the bold white grid of the windows and highlighted white and red feature walls. The building is a statement in its surrounds.
The plan incorporates living areas on the ground floor including a lounge, dining and breakfast area. Upstairs is the bedroom area with 2 bedrooms and a master bedroom and ensuite.
The ground floor is a simple palette of white with timber features with floor boards and joinery. The entry has a double height void which captures the light through the highlight grid windows. The North side has large windows that open out on to a deck with views over to the water. The first floor bedrooms similarly have sweeping views to the water.