A Layered Home in Coastal Australia That Merges With the Limestone Terrain
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A Layered Home in Coastal Australia That Merges With the Limestone Terrain

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Located in Victoria, Australia, on a site that's lined with limestone shelves and underground caves, this house was designed as a series of layers with intersecting zones that frame private vistas.

Though the 4,844-square-foot house is close to the beach, it didn't have panoramic sea views. So, when St Kilda-based architectural practice Robson Rak took on the project, they incorporated a void with a striking spiral staircase, allowing the residents to enjoy beautiful views as they ascend the stairs.

Small internal courtyard terraces around the main living area connect the interiors with the natural surroundings, which is filled with tea trees. 

The aluminum doors and windows are fitted with thermally-broken double glazing, and louvers are used throughout the house to help with cross ventilation. 

Expansive doors, large glazed windows, and a skylight above the kitchen flood the interiors with daylight.  

Sensitive to its context and site, the house was built by local artisans using local materials including timber and sustainable rammed earth, which is low-maintenance. 

Both materials were chosen for their ability to age gracefully over time, giving the house a textural quality that reflects the limestone terrain around it. 

The pale concrete floors are equipped with hydronic heating, which evenly warms the home during the winter.  

Aquamarine blues and greens were used for furniture and finishings to delineate the functional zones within the house—such as this green-tiled island bench.

These colors, which echo the shades of the sea and tea trees, further connect the outdoor landscape with the internal spaces.   

Project Credits: 

-Architecture: Kathryn Robson of Robson Rak

-Interior design: Robson Rak

-Builder: Heyward Construction

-Structural engineer: Meyer Consulting

-Landscape design: Mia Looke

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