Architect Philip M Dingemanse combined rural living with contemporary aesthetics in his design of the Valley House, a modern metal-clad home in Launceston, Australia. The 267-square-meter house hugs the existing contours in the northwest-facing Tasmanian valley to maximize stunning views of the valley, nearby city, and river beyond. In addition to the low-impact approach to the landscape, Dingemanse optimized Valley House’s shape and openings for natural ventilation, natural lighting, and solar energy.
Clad in profiled metal and cement sheet, the Valley House’s long and strategically bent structure stretches southwest to northeast along the existing topography. The angular home rises in height in the northeast to take advantage of northern exposure. The house is divided into two wings: the carport and secondary bedrooms on one side, and the communal areas with a second-story north-facing master bedroom in the other. A large timber-lined opening at the juncture of the metal-clad wings serves as the focal point and outdoor living area that connects to the indoor kitchen.
The Valley House’s striated metal cladding, cement sheet, and plantation timber frame are nods to the traditional rural aesthetic, however Dingemanse’s application of those materials give the home a distinctly contemporary vibe. The Tasmanian timber used in the outdoor patio provides a striking contrast with the metal facade and a visual transition from the exterior to the interior. Select timbers were locally sourced and milled, including the Tasmanian celery top pine and blackwood timber.
The energy-efficient house limits southern openings and is equipped with double-glazed operable windows to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature year-round. The house is powered by renewable solar energy—excess energy can be exported to the power grid—as well as efficient heat pump technology. LEDs are installed throughout the house.
Images via Philip M Dingemanse, © Luke Hesketh