This modest house is an off-the-grid family getaway on a rural site in Gooram, several hours north-east of Melbourne. The site is a tract of hilly, granite boulder-strewn land, cast aside from the surrounding farmland due to its inability be farmed. The owners recognised an opportunity in this dramatic and harsh landscape - it was selected as a place of wonder for their young kids to spend weekends and school holidays immersed in nature; flying kites, climbing boulders, swimming in the dams…
The design explores how little 'house' is required when carefully designed and integrated with vast skies, stars and the horizon.
The house is composed of a series of planes in the landscape, taking its inspiration from the modernist classic Heide II and the land art of Richard Serra. These planes are arranged along a central circulation spine that frames vistas through the house and enables cross-ventilation. Embedded amongst the boulders, the house is part of the landscape.
Concrete blockwork was selected, partly to simplify construction for the owner-builders, but more importantly because the rugged landscape lends itself to a similarly raw, textured and robust material. These walls create a soothing sense of enclosure and protection from the wild winds, making the house an all weather retreat.