December 23, 2021

The Barn House

“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.

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Slap Architects acknowledges the Gunaikurnai People, the Traditional Owners of the land on which Slap Architects stands. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living in East Gippsland, and their Elders past, present and emerging.

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