This new home on the Bellarine Peninsula (about 80 minutes south-west of Melbourne) marks the second time Freehand Projects and the owners have worked together. 

Given this history, the architects had developed a good understanding of the client’s requirements, but this difficult site threw up its own set of challenges.

‘The site has some pretty spectacular views out over Lake Connewarre and beyond, but can be exposed to the elements, particularly strong westerlies from across the lake,’ says Michael Bell, architect at Freehand Projects. ‘A major consideration was resolving these conflicting environmental influences, while still maintaining a comfortable living space.’ 

When attempting to marry these two desires, Michael became inspired by a project he had long admired – Taliesin West (1937-1959) designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Scottsdale, Arizona.

‘We hit upon the idea of employing a similar roof form, which would not only reflect the slope of the site, but also convey a sense of sheltered prospect, with the frames extending out into the treetops,’ he says. 

Consequently, this new home was designed to direct prevailing winds up and over the roof, with a protected outdoor zone at the rear. All principal rooms are positioned on the home’s upper level, with extra bedrooms and storage dug into the hillside below.

The completed home enjoys views of the lake, as well surrounding yellow gum trees. ‘The owners were keen to bring these drought-affected trees back to health and rehabilitate the landscape more generally,’ Michael says. The soft pearlescent greys, pale greens and ochre tones of the trees’ bark is referenced throughout the home’s material palette. 

Michael perfectly describes the completed project as a ‘place in the treetops where the owners can enjoy watching the long summer sunsets, the constantly changing skies, and the incredible array of birdlife in the canopy of yellow gums.’

See more of  awe-inspiring designs by Freehand Projects here.



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