Drawing inspiration from the midcentury Case Study houses, Osmington-based Archterra Architects designed the Wilderness House, a contemporary elevated home with treetop canopy views. Located on a secluded bush block in coastal banksia woodland near Australia’s iconic Margaret River, the home was created to take advantage of its rich and remote environment using large windows and a natural materials palette. The client’s desires for long-term durability and low-maintenance also informed the design and construction of the home, which was crafted with energy efficiency in mind.
Covering an area of 1,743 square feet, with much of the footprint elevated on the second level, the Wilderness House features a simple rectangular plan that stretches east to west. The second floor interior layout follows the trajectory of the sun: the master suite is located on the east side to allow the homeowners to rise with the sun, while the open-plan living areas are placed on the opposite end to overlook sunset views. Access to the upper floor is reached via a raw galvanized expanded mesh walkway ramp. On the ground level are a single guest bedroom suite and a series of slender galvanized columns that support the insulated upper floor concrete slab.
“Raw galvanized steel Juliet balconies in front of sliding glass doors to the bedroom, bathroom and living room enable the entire house to be opened up to the outdoors and the constant summer hum of cicadas and chatter of birds amongst the trees,” the architects explained in a project statement. In addition to floor-to-ceiling sliding glass, the exterior is clad in zero-maintenance and bushfire-resistant Colorbond sheeting, hot dip galvanized steel, raw compressed cement panels and raw spotted gum decking.
For energy efficiency, the architects installed roof overhangs that shield the walls of low-E glass from the hot summer sun, yet still allow the winter sun to penetrate the charcoal-pigmented floor slab. The open floor plan also ensures that natural light and cooling winds can penetrate all parts of the home.
Images by Douglas Mark Black