Most of us want a low-maintenance home. Who wants to be re-painting the weatherboards or sealing the deck on their precious, precious weekends? No-one, that's who. The weekends are for long, lazy smashed avocado brunches, afternoon naps and maybe even some kids sporting matches. Therein lies the beauty of authentic, finish-free materials. You don't need to repaint something that's never been painted! When the clients of this home in Victoria's Mt Dundeen (just south of Geelong) spoke to their architect Lachlan Shepherd they begged for a practically indestructible home. The result is an easy to clean, low-maintenance and robust home that even the wildest of children can't damage and ravages of weather can't destroy...
The first thing you notice about Mt Dundeen House is it feel like it's been here forever. The low-lying building at the top of a gentle hill overlooks paddocks with scattered trees. Clad in rusting steel and recycled timber, the home's grey and orange tones make it feel like a forgotten relic on the hill. But the use of these hard-wearing and unfinished products ensures the home requires no upkeep - it will only get better with age.
Inside, the materials are similarly hard-wearing. Galvanised steel beams form the main structure of the home, with unlined eaves revealing the galvanised roof sheeting as it sails out over the outdoor entertaining area.
Polished concrete floors mean the kids can ride their bikes and scooters inside or out, without even making a dent. Concrete bench tops in the kitchen are similarly indestructible.
A stunning fireplace sits on an elevated concrete plinth, forming the centrepiece of the open-plan living area.
The home is oriented to make the most of the sun. A northern orientation lets winter sunlight deep into the living areas to warm the concrete floors. A combination of generous eaves and clerestory louvre windows keep the home cool in summer.
A double shower in the ensuite has a glass window overlooking the surrounding paddock, so you can enjoy an ever-changing view of the countryside.
Despite being new, this hard-wearing home already looks like it's been here forever. The great thing about the architects choice of materials is the home will look just like this in years to come - only getting better with age. Designed for a young family, this home will be low-maintenance and virtually indestructible. It will serve this family for many years to come.