If you’re a fan of Modernist architecture, prepare to fall in love with this gorgeous glass-and-steel dwelling inspired by Mies van der Rohe. The Wirra Willa Pavilion, named after the Australian indigenous word for ‘green tree,’ was designed by architect Matthew Woodward for his family’s 80-acre property in Somersby, about an hour’s drive north of Sydney. Surrounded by a lush green landscape, the elegant retreat cantilevers over a natural spring-fed dam and appears to perfectly blend in with its bucolic setting.
Located on the site of a former citrus fruit orchard, the small and elegant Wirra Willa Pavilion serves as a spa and guesthouse for a larger residence on the same grounds. Its remote location and minimalist design create a relaxing environment that calms visitors by immersing them in nature. The building also cantilevers 2.5 meters (8.2 feet) over a natural spring-fed dam. “It is a Miesian-inspired glass pavilion situated in a vibrant and fertile, rural landscape setting not dissimilar to that portrayed in a Claude Monet painting,” said Mathew Woodward.
The glazed 72-square-meter pavilion features a minimalist natural materials palette comprising vertical timber slats, steel, concrete, and sandstone. The interior spaces include a sunken spa and living room on the cantilevered end; a bathroom, kitchen, and storage space in the middle; and a bedroom with a folding bed on the opposite end. The timber flooring is made from native Australian tallowwood and the walls are covered in locally quarried Somersby white sandstone. The pavilion has a northeast orientation to optimize solar gain conditions in the winter and natural cross winds, which pass through the dwelling through the sliding glass panels. The building took approximately eight months to complete.
Images via Matthew Woodward Architecture