A Melbourne home designed by Alexandra Buchanan Architecture creates a cascade of contemporary family living spaces within a bushfire area.
The siting of the Warrandyte House is highly dramatic and not without its challenges. Yet environmental and bushfire restrictions proved to be little deterrent to a Melbourne couple determined to build a contemporary rural retreat in a prime location on a stunning bushland perch above the Yarra River.
This family home utilises the challenges of the site to create a series of dynamic spaces that slide and tumble with the natural terrain, flooding the house with light and capturing spectacular bushland views.
On first inspection the site had a dense coverage of scrub with restricted access and relatively close proximity to neighbouring dwellings. Falling steeply to the river and covered by both Environmental and Bushfire Overlays (BAL29), the property brought to bear some interesting and at times conflicting constraints to potential design.
What has resulted is a plan form that slides with the landscape, with deliberately solid east and west walls flanking almost entirely open central spaces that direct views to the sky & treetops beyond. Practical, private, service areas are concealed within a rich material palette that create a warm textural foil to contemporary family living.
The house is modest in area with a highly efficient and elegant plan offering flexibility, growth and practicality for its young family.
Centred around a series of cascading internal and external entertaining terraces, with fully operable doors to offer light and connectivity these modest individual floor areas can make way to more expansive spaces that articulate views, and channel breezes through the house.
Despite the texture and solidity of the drystone walls that wrap the exterior and fold through a glazed circulation slot, the house has a lightness that is enhanced by twin butterfly roofs that lift the eaves to catch daylight from every direction.