The project is a residential dwelling located on rural land in the NSW Southern Highlands. The area has wide vistas, extremes of temperature and strong winds, creating a landscape both harsh and beautiful. The property is a working farm used for breeding cattle.
The building responds to both the challenging climate and the client brief for a home that is highly sustainable and highly comfortable! It draws on the architect’s intimate knowledge of local environmental conditions.
The dwelling comprises two wings forming an L shape, bordering a square, manicured lawn. The residential wing is a two storey building on the east-west axis with living spaces facing north to the lawn. The farm service wing is a one storey building on the north-south axis containing carport, office, mudroom, laundry and services. The building itself is designed to shelter the outdoor space against the cold prevailing winds from the southwest.
The building is a modern interpretation of the vernacular shed and is crafted of robust material such as galvanised steel and hardwood. Whilst simple and inexpensive, the house is of high quality. Its stark beauty is in harmony with the surrounding environment and has strong cultural references to farming traditions.
Internally, the timber and steel trussed roof structure is expressed, providing a rhythm along the length of the building. Vistas are created through the house to emphasis the space within the building, and frame key views of the landscape.
The project was budget driven in construction cost, and running cost. The energy efficient design ensures that operation costs are kept to a minimum. The skill and hands on approach of the builder, a local firm, resulted in a collaborative resolution of construction details, and an inherent integrity in the build quality.