Wolveridge Architects built Blairgowrie House for a young Australian family moving away from Melbourne. A seaside home built into the side of a sand dune, the low impact home is wrapped in recycled timber. Inspired by Alistair Knox, a designer and environmentalist from the 1960s who who specialized in mud-brick and breeze-block houses, the home features distinct characteristics such as geometric screens and heat-treated steel walls. Keep reading to find out what makes this home so special.
Most of the house is encircled by patterned geometric screens, which not only reference the concrete blocks used by Knox, but also create spaces that can be used as courtyards. These screens also act as partitions throughout the house, and integrate with some of the ceilings to create a uniform feel across the four main living areas of the building. And there’s a reason the design features characteristics of such an influential designer. “One of the owners grew up in Eltham, a rural bushland retreat east of the city in a house designed by Alistair Knox,” explained the architects.
Wood is a key feature throughout the house, which is apparent from outside and inside, where exposed wooden walls and timber-panelled floors create a warm ambience. “The materials are generally recycled timbers, with blackened plywood walls and a black ceiling which encourages the enjoyment of light and the externally framed views of the landscape,” said the architects. Glass screens, which open out onto a large deck connected to the main garden, enhance the view.
To make sure the kids had enough room to play and grow, the hallways were made wide enough so that they could even ride their bikes around the house should the desire arise. Skylights help to flood the interior with natural light, while heat-treated steel in the main bathroom uses reflections to draw as much light into the room as possible.
Images via Derek Swalwell