Near the Cathedral Range State Park, just outside Buxton, Victoria, Buxton Rise has enviable views. Format Architects has created a paired-back home with warm, naturally beautiful materials to act as a backdrop to the incredible landscape...
"The landscape and topography are diverse and includes ridgelines, valleys with ephemeral watercourses, remnant clusters of native vegetation and cleared grazing land", explains architect Martin Rubenstein. "The site is unique and beautiful and so it was important to site and design the new building to protect and enhance this natural landscape."
A simple floorplan composed of a glass-walled open-plan living area facing north and inviting in those killer views, while a sleeping zone to the south is cocooned in heavy, masonry walls rendered with natural lime hard plaster. "Every room has a view out into the landscape. There are spaces designed for late evening sun, or sunny spots in the morning so that you can track the light throughout the day." The home is cut slightly into the hill to create level access to the outdoors from the front of the house.
A large, overhanging roof shades the home and creates sheltered outdoor living spaces. The roof is made up of a grid of laminated veneer lumber beams (essentially smaller strips of timber which are laminated together the create a thick, structural beam). The beams are exposed leaving the grain of timber and the natural texture of the beams on display. Sustainably-sourced plywood ceilings and another element of naturally warm material to the palette. Similarly, the plaster creates "a unique, smooth and slightly imperfect patina that suits the simplicity of the house design and reflects the beauty of the natural landscape", says Martin. Even the concrete floor uses locally-sourced river rock and sand to create a home connected to the site.
"The entire design revolves around the idea of simple living", says Martin. "[The] kitchen is designed like a traditional farmhouse kitchen where family activity and kitchen work are integrated in one big room with a huge dining table in the middle." Cantilevered shelves leaves the hard plastered wall behind on show, rather than interrupting it with another material.
Stipping back unnecessary finishes and focussing on naturally beautiful materials has created a home that is warm and welcoming, while placing the focus on the natural surrounds. Buxton Rise is the perfect bush retreat for a simpler lifestyle.