Our brief for the Clare Valley Residence was to design an innovative, environmentally sustainable family home that could cherish its natural setting as much as our clients did.
Timber was used both structurally and expressively to link the house to place and program. The external skin of the house needed to be dense hardwood to address bushfire threat. Radial sawn Silvertop Ash was selected for aesthetics, bushfire resilience, and it’s environmental properties - Australian, sustainably forested and milled to minimise waste. The Ash echoes, in colour, the bleached summer rural landscape, and the vertical cladding mimics nearby eucalyptus trunks or barrels, referencing the winemaking heritage of the area. Recycled jarrah salvaged in South Australia, complete with holes and notches from its former life was used for exposed posts and beams, and the kitchen island benchtop - in its scars and patterns can be found the ghosts of fence posts and agricultural structures.
Anchored to the ground by a charcoal coloured concrete slab and a long rammed earth spine wall, 2 timber wings stretch to each side – one for living and one for sleeping. Functional contrasts reverberate through the cladding, with one rough sawn – left unfinished to silver off and the other fine sawn and oiled to retain richness of the heart timber.
As a counterpoint to the dark floors, timber and rammed earth give warmth to the interior. Hoop Pine offers a gentler timber face to the joinery, lining the underside of inverted roof trusses and amplifies golden afternoon sunlight on a clear winters day.
This project does not shy away from variety, contrast and the breadth of qualities in timber. Because of this, the design can sit confidently in its setting and the clients are immersed comfortably in the Australian Bush.