When blessed with a picturesque bush setting, don't squander it. Two Halves House makes the most of its bush setting, just outside Ballarat by splitting into two, to maximise opportunities to embrace the view...
As the name suggests, Two Halves House was designed by Moloney Architects as two, almost identically-sized, pavilions. One pavilion contains an open-plan living area designed to be a sociable space, surrounded by bushland. The other is a more private bedroom and bathroom wing.
Between the two pavilions is a sheltered entry with a picture-frame window to highlight the view. The benefit of pulling the two pavilions apart is threefold: it allows the home to step gently down the sloping site, ensures the living areas still have access to northern light, and separates social and private spaces for more practical living.
"The two pavilions essentially distinguish the functions of the house, splitting the public and private zones to give the main living spaces the best views and natural light access" Mick Moloney, Moloney Architects.
The clients, Sam and Sarah, are a sociable couple, so it's important the home can cater to large gatherings. Next to the kitchen is a 'conversation space', "a communal zone designed for milling and conversing while still feeling a part of the kitchen action," explains Mick.
To further increase the flexibility of the home to host numerous people comfortably, a low-set bench seat runs around the room.
"The clients wanted their internal living spaces to have a strong connection to the bush surrounds, while also providing them with privacy and a sense of seclusion"
Contrasting with the open-plan livng space, the sleeping wing feels a world away from the active living zone yet, equally, feels surrounded by nature. "Where the public zones are open-plan and outward facing, the bedroom and bathing quarters are designed to be compartmentalised and private. It also reveals something of the clients, in that they value time spent together and were looking to create a living environment which was at once sociable and welcoming, while also offering solace and seclusion," explains Mick.
Birch-faced plywood interiors unite the two pavilions and ensure a warm and tactile finish. The plywood interior also highlights the dramatic angled ceilings, appearing like a sculptural form carved from the timber itself. "It’s an important form gesture that expresses the sculptural nature of the interior architecture, and accentuates the warm heart of the space," said Mick.
In this case, Two Halves are greater than the whole. By dividing the home into two, the home can make the most of the sun, the bush, and maximise its functionality. It's a home for people who love to entertain, but equally, need time to retreat and relax in privacy.