[single-residential]

Mountainside House

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Private client

A new house situated on a beautiful mountain side.

The site has an elevated northerly prospect towards a dramatic sandstone and basanite escarpment, north-westerly views into a steep valley and easterly views across rural plains to the coast.

This project subtly orients itself to these landscape elements with a series of long, cross and oblique axes that can be opened and closed within the building.

Our client knows the site intimately – having spent many days toiling on the steep slope to regenerate native vegetation, cultivate new gardens from native plants and construct a series of beautiful walls from stone on the site. His detailed knowledge of the site’s exposure, winds and climate strongly influenced the evolution of the project.

On the northern side, protected by a deep concrete porch are oriented all of the living spaces. On the southern side, but slipped slightly to capture particular landscape views and early and late sunlight – a series of bedrooms and a sleepout.

The sloping site is modified by a series of retaining walls and terraces that form a place for the more pure geometric form of the building to rest + provide level, sheltered outdoor spaces that offer respite from the strong north-westerly winds.

The house is located in a bushfire prone area – so a palette of concrete, render and fire retardant hardwood is deployed. Shutters and screens provide bushfire protection, but are more generously conceived as devices to adjust the house’s microclimate, as well as to open and close the house to the landscape.

The house is self sufficient in terms of water and waste + provides multiple energy sources to minimize power usage. Recycled hardwood and brickwork are used, not only to minimize the embodied energy of materials – but to leaven the concrete shell with integrally muted, richly textured and weathered natural finishes.

HILL THALIS TEAM
Philip Thalis, Laura Harding

PHOTOGRAPHY
© Brett Boardman

BUILDER
A & V Moras Constructions

STRUCTURAL ENGINEER
Simpson Design Associates

HYDRAULIC ENGINEER
Harris Page & Associates

BUSHFIRE CONSULTANT
Eco Logical

PLANNERS + SURVEYORS
Watkinson Apperley

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT
Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture

Mountainside House