It's great to see more of the vernacular in contemporary architecture, like this sturdy rock fence that frames a summer home just south of Melbourne. Designed by b.e. Architecture and located on the southernmost tip of Mornington peninsula, Whitehall Road Residence is comprised of a series of glazed pavilions peering over a stone parapet. This drystone wall, which takes its structural integrity from compressional forces and requires no mortar, protects the home from the elements while also giving it a natural grounding that contrasts with more modern materials.
Used intermittently as a permanent and temporary home, Whitehall Road Residence is comprised of glass boxes organized horizontally across the property. Only the uppermost floors with bedrooms are visible above the stone wall that punched into the hilltop. This organization allows the property to feel occupied when relatively empty, yet provides plenty of privacy when fully occupied. And the extensive glazing allows daylight to stream inside.
The glass walls retract, allowing residents to step outside into a series of pergolas shaded by cane screens. This helps to divert some of the solar gain between individual blocks. The “overriding gesture of the building,” the drystone wall was constructed with rocks sourced from a local quarry, anchoring the home in its locale and lending sustainability credentials to the project. And the towering gum trees? They’ve been left to thrive, providing additional shade.