Bairnsdale, East Gippsland
Located in the middle of a 75 acre open grass paddock, this house enjoys uninterrupted views in all directions. The challenge was to design a house that makes the most of this incredible location.
Initial site analysis identified the primary view opportunities as well as potential for harsh westerly winds sweeping across the open west paddocks.
The resultant design divides the house into a series of pods, each aligned to specific views. These pods are angled and incorporate strategic window placement to enable these views to be experienced from multiple locations in the house at the same time, unimpeded. Designed for a couple with overseas relatives, the south ‘wing’ of the house is able to completely ‘shut off’ when not in use, or used as a self-contained guest wing for visiting family.
The form and materials of the home draw on the traditional Australian homestead vernacular, with simple gable forms, corrugated metal roofing, wide verandahs and recycled bricks. These gestures are interpreted in thoroughly contemporary ways, with double brick walls being thoroughly insulated, adoption of butt jointed double glazed windows on feature corners, and internally polished black concrete floors and black cabinetry. The result is dynamic juxtaposition of old and new ideas of what makes an ‘Authentic Australian Farmhouse’.