An Unconventional Nation House In The Southern Highlands

When Different Architects took up the problem to create this distinctive residence within the NSW Southern Highlands residence, they instantly recognised the magical qualities of the tree-filled website, and the chance to a sympathetic but subversive residence. 

The positioning contained two current constructions – one a poor deliberate cottage ‘choked in vines’, and the opposite an artist’s studio. Different Architects proposed changing many of the cottage on the identical footprint, whereas sustaining backyard, courtyard, and landform. The artist’s studio can be retained, in addition to a small lower-ground area beneath the cottage to be transformed right into a visitor quarters.

‘Varied different architects had tried to persuade our shoppers to construct a grand home with dramatic views on high of their hill. Somewhat than occupying the hilltop and relegating the remaining website to a driveway, we reassured our shoppers that they may create a beautiful residence throughout the current setting,’ says Different Architects director Grace Mortlock. ‘In doing so, we took on the problem of making certain that our shoppers wouldn’t remorse commissioning a compact and modestly-located home.’

The home was designed primarily as a rustic retreat, with visitors a secondary consideration. This transient allowed Different Architects to discover the concept of residing in a single, capacious room; its spatial qualities outlined not by corridors and partitions, however by daylight and openings, views and artworks, objects and furnishings. 

‘We had been involved in an older and extra common mode of nation residing,’ explains Different Architects David Neustein. ‘All through Australia and everywhere in the world, generations of individuals have lived in quite simple, open constructions the place day by day actions – cooking, bathing, sleeping, gathering, working, stress-free – intermingle and overlap.’

Aesthetically, the house attracts on inspirations starting from Sigurd Lewerentz’s Malmö Flower Kiosk (1969) with its primary and unadorned type, clip-on home windows, undisguised conduits; to the hedonistic simplicity of OFFICE ​​Kersten Geers David Van Severen’s Weekend Home (2012).

Most vital nonetheless is the affect of artist Donald Judd, who purchased a variety of mothballed army barracks in Marfa, Texas, and transformed them for his personal use as hybrid residing/working/exhibition areas. Grace and David occurred to be in Marfa when their design for Highlands Home was signed off, and the pair discovered inspiration in how furnishings was strategically positioned in Judd’s work, to outline and animate areas. ‘In Judd’s work, we encountered an idealised type of rural life: a laconic, uncomplicated existence inside easy, undivided volumes demarcated solely by the location of furnishings,’ says Grace.

Highlands Home’s pale inexperienced facade and predominantly flat roof recedes into its surrounding stunning seasonal backyard. Massive sliding doorways and home windows retract completely when opened, permitting sensations of the backyard to permeate the home. 

The finished challenge is amongst a dizzyingly numerous array of labor in Different Architects’ portfolio, all of which signifies a transparent overarching worth. ‘Whereas radically totally different in content material and scale, frequent to all of those tasks is our need to relegate structure to the background,’ says David. ‘We need to assist to create areas which might be so effectively suited to their goal that they stop to be noticeable, permitting on a regular basis existence, in all its magnificence and complexity, to take over.’

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