For equine veterinarian Kylie and her husband Sam, life at the Red Hill Farm House often comes with an audience—the four-legged kind, anyway. The rural abode’s walls of glass are perfect for the couple’s inquisitive horses and cattle to peer in, and are among the many ways the house shows off its close ties with the outdoors.
Embedded into the landscape of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, the Red Hill Farm House is perched on a small rise overlooking views of sweeping paddocks and distant glimpses of the horseshoe-shaped coastline. Its sleek and minimalist appearance—a modern take on the surrounding rural vernacular—is the work of Melbourne–based Carr and is based on a concept created by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects.
"The brief was the creation of a home celebrating the surrounding architectural vernacular but with a modern, contemporary interpretation," Carr explains of the property. "The response to the brief proposed a discreet yet volumetric built mass of elongated and staggered structures informed by the natural typography of the land and informing the internal plan and section."
Organized around an outdoor courtyard, the 7,000-square-foot home comprises three blackened timber pavilions arranged in a U shape.
The private quarters are housed within the two elongated pavilions that flank the central living volume. The north private wing contains a spacious master suite with a study that connects to a guest bedroom and garage. To the south is the children’s wing with three bedrooms and a playroom.
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The hub of the house sits in the middle and comprises an open-plan dining, lounge, and kitchen area that open up to the intimate courtyard on one side and the pool with lush valley views on the other.
"The design intentionally omits ornamentation seeking to minimize the palette of materials," the firm notes. "The predominance of the vertical blackened timber cladding defines the facade materiality and, when glimpsed from within, acts to constantly remind occupants of the rural narrative."
Moreover, the rough-sawn, black-stained timber has the added benefit of durability, one of the home’s several sustainable features. A lower energy footprint is achieved with the full-height glass openings that let in natural light and effective cross ventilation, while deep verandas protect against unwanted solar heat gain.
The house has also been equipped with a solar-heated swimming pool, gas-boosted solar hydronic heating, and 40,000-liter underground water tanks that supply water to the bathrooms and garden irrigation.
"The true innovation of this home lies in its connectivity to the local vernacular and the equine business that operates from its stables."
Builder/ General Contractor: VCON
Structural Engineer: C.I.R
Landscape Designer: Paul Bangay
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