A Funky, Curvaceous Rainforest Home in Australia Hits the Market
Designed by the Australian husband-and-wife team behind Jesse Bennett Studio as their personal home, Planchonella House is nestled in virgin rainforests in the suburb of Edge Hill in Cairns, Australia, and now the quirky, award-winning residence is up for sale through Modern House Estate Agents (price upon request).
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The 2,583-square-foot house responds to the climate and topography of its dense forest site. In its sculptural—but highly functional—form, one can see undertones of Brazilian modernism. The house has even been compared to John Lautner’s Arango House in Acapulco, Mexico; Lina Bo Bardi’s work in Brazil; and even Alvar Alto’s Savoy Vase.
Bennett and Campagnolo were involved in all aspects of the design, from the architecture to the landscaping and interiors, as well as details like door handles and clothes hooks. They went so far as to camp on the site while the house was being constructed to really get feel of the land.
The result is a skillfully handcrafted home that has won numerous Australian design awards, including the prestigious Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture in the 2015 National Architecture Awards.
The curvy, organic shape of the house, which is composed of a concrete platform roof and floor, is guided by the contours of the site’s ridgeline. At the front, the platforms extend outwards like wings that float above the ridge, and stretch out into the top of the trees.
Glass walls wrap around the edges of the concrete platforms to create indoor spaces that feel as if they are part of the canopy.
Recessed areas serve as outdoor patios with deep, rounded eaves.
Within, an L-shaped floor plan accommodates the common areas, which include a kitchen with a butler’s pantry and breakfast booth, a lounge, a dining room, and a deck that looks out to views of the hinterland and city. The adjacent master bedroom, bathroom, and dressing room are separated from the common areas by a timber wall; an additional two bedrooms, a bathroom, and multipurpose studio space extend from the rear of the house.
Cheerful midcentury colors, vintage furniture, and vibrant wall coverings all work beautifully to complement the house’s organic silhouette and lush, green surroundings.
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