The Buxton house is a bush retreat overlooking the Black Range State Forest 100km north east of Melbourne. The house is defined by its large & deep overhanging roof designed to offer shade and protection from the elements.
The brief was to design a house for a weekend getaway on a 20 hectare property located near the foot of the Cathedral Range state park just outside the township of Buxton.
The house must respond to the site, be simple to construct, be inexpensive to build and efficient to run.
The plan is arranged around a glass walled open plan living and dining area facing north, a rendered masonry walled sleeping zone to the south and outdoor areas defined by the cantilevered roof to the east and west.
The roof is constructed of a grid of deep laminated veneer lumber beams exposed and expressed in the ceiling.
The simple order, restrained detailing and a palette of warm internal materials including polished plaster walls, plywood ceilings and exposed aggregate concrete floors lends this house a calm and relaxed feel.
The entire design revolves around the idea of simple living. Format Architects wanted to try integrating some informal ideas, for example the utilitarian kitchen is designed like a traditional farmhouse kitchen where family activity and kitchen work are integrated in one big room with a huge dining table in the middle.
This open spatial arrangement is followed through in the detailing where open and continuous cantilevered wall shelves allow a single wall finish to flow uninterrupted throughout the entire living space.
Spatial continuity and continuity of surface is a key design feature of this house as it lends a quiet unity and calm to the space.
The landscape and topography are diverse and includes ridge lines, valleys with ephemeral water courses, remnant clusters of native vegetation and cleared grazing land.
The site is unique and beautiful and so it was important to site and design the new building to protect and enhance this natural landscape.