LocationMelbourne Victoria, Australia
Project ArchitectChristian O'Halloran
From the architect. The house is a family weekender located on approximately 100 acres in the granite belt roughly one hours drive north of Melbourne. Our brief “in simple” is summarized in the points below:
1. A contemporary dwelling to comfortably house the entire family, but with the opportunity to “zone” when there are only two residing
2. Strong focus to all four elevations - not just a façade
3. Low maintenance natural materials
4. To capture the views in all directions
5. Extensive outdoor areas with shelter from both east or west
6. Respect for the local climate (extreme heat & cold)
The obvious site for the house has panoramic views of the surrounding hills with the existing site access road approaching from the south. We created a circular driveway at the head of this road leading to covered car spaces, which radiate off the driveway, and provide sheltered access directly through the boots room or laundry on either side of the main entry door. The dwelling has three wings built around this central circular drive, bedroom / study wings along the east & west sides, with the main living, kitchen, dining and decks along the north. A gallery connects the three wings and main entry. The bedroom wings are mirrored geometric compressed cement sheet boxes with deep reveal windows providing shade and weather shelter.
The main living, kitchen, dining and decks facing due north are under one long blade corrugated roof structure supported by high rustic timber trusses which are supported of a rammed earth blade wall. The rammed earth wall also separates these areas from the gallery walkway, which links all three wings and the building entries.
Materials are: Natural timber cladding, decking, trusses and windows have been used along the northern wing with zincalume finish corrugated roofing. The blade rammed earth wall has the same natural finish both inside and outside the building.
The only painted external surface is the compressed cement sheet cladding to the bedroom / study wings. The paint colour was selected to best match the distance eucalypt hillsides (earthy olive / brown), which blends with all the selected natural building materials as well as the surrounding landscape in both summer (dry barren brown) and winter (Lush green hillsides)