Located on the picturesque Lake Nagambie waterfront in central Victoria. In this semi-rural context the land gently slopes down to the water, towering mature river gum trees are dotted along the shore and distant views across the lake provide a natural backdrop to family life.
Not withstanding great views and the site’s natural beauty, the lake is south facing and therefore not ideal (southern hemisphere) for solar orientation. Designed by Format Architects, various strategies for making the most of the lake aspect as well as overcoming some of the siting challenges were necessary.
Three glazed courtyards are pinwheeled around a large central dining room, this arrangement provides an aspect out to nature from more rooms, draws views in to the center of the house and enhances the sense of connectivity to the water. The courtyards allow solar gain to passively heat the concrete slab in winter while cooling breezes flow throughout the house in summer to create climate responsive design.
Materials include the use of texture and pattern to create visual interest, pale coloured exposed masonry blocks provide a solid feel to the to the ground floor walls and are finished either as smooth faced (external) and honed (internal) to give a soft matte texture to the house. The masonry block pattern is played with externally with “hit and miss” block-work walls allowing light and air to filter throughout the day. Contrasting dark coloured fine vertical metal blades provide shading and privacy screening and allow the top of the house to “feather” against the trees and sky.
Photographs Ernesto Arriagada