Brief: Compact Family Home - 2 Bedroom
Location: Wallan, Victoria
This project began from the loss of the clients house in a bushfire outside Wallan, Victoria, originally built by themselves over thirty years ago. Thus the brief to replace it was of course an emotionally loaded prospect and was informed very much by the clients' invaluable experience of the site and the previous house.
The decision to move from the original single storey layout to an open first floor living arrangement with lower floor bedrooms and services was three-fold: to maximise the wide north and western views and solar exposure as well as the cooling summer breezes. While winter exposure was considered, the air-tightness and super-insulation of the Habitech System allowed these benefits to outweigh this limitation.
While budget was tight, the roof form was simplified and the siting ensured efficient bridging to the house from the new arrival point on the land above the existing benching. This was required by access necessary for CFA vehicles not possible to the original house location on lower land and presented a more private and enticing approach to the home.
Guest accommodation accompanies the ground floor master suite which opens up to the nursery garden planned to replace the previous house site on the flat land around the new house. Protection from South-West weather at this level provided by the house, hunkered into the land means cosy winter mornings and spectacular sunsets from the master bed itself.
Materials and colours have been chosen for fire resistance to ember attack and for low impact but clarity of form in the landscape. Their durability and low maintenance will produce a house that proves to be even longer living than its predecessor.