HorizonHouse HillThalis

Horizon House

The Horizon House is located on a dramatic coastal headland. The property is a working cattle farm – and is characterized by its extraordinary scenic outlook, the long, even datum of the horizon and intense rain and winds that encircle the house during storm events.

The house tucks into the hillside forming a protective courtyard and cultivated garden separated from the paddocks. Living spaces face the horizon, while the bedroom wings shelter the courtyard space on the northern and southern sides. Each part of the house can choose to engage with the horizon, or retreat to the courtyard.

Approached from above, the roof of the house strikes a strict horizontal line that sits just below the horizon. The tapering form of the house dramatizes the experience of moving from land towards water – culminating in a panoramic frame that inflects, in a meniscus lens form, to hold the horizon.

The house is constructed from concrete framing members that are angled to glance light and articulate specific landscape views. The detailing of every junction in the house anticipates the vertical movement of water in high wind conditions. Where walls meet the ground they are faced with stone selected to match the colours of the local basalt. Where the house hovers above these walls it is trimmed in zinc and concrete so that it merges into the blue grey band between sea and sky.

The weathered outer shell is contrasted with smooth off form concrete, polished plaster, marble, shell and oak finishes internally. A palette of grey, white and silver subtly foregrounds the sumptuous colours of the landscape.

The house forms a silent frame against which landscape, weather, water and sky move in ceaseless complexity and beauty.This house was a 17 year odyssey – and could not have been completed without the dedication and passion of its extraordinary owners.The house was featured in Habitus #41, as part of a selection of 20 projects shortlisted for their inaugural House of the Year.