The small, low-density settlement of Curlewis sits on the coastal edge of the large scale undulating rural landscape of the Bellarine Peninsula. This house is located on a five acre property, north facing to the water and looking out to the You Yangs, Melbourne CBD and the Geelong industrial waterfront to the west.
The house responds to the scale of this landscape and specific site soil conditions. It is embedded both visually and physically within the larger project of regeneration and revegetation of the property. The house is set back from the coastline and the street and sits behind and between existing trees. The building floor levels step down with the fall in the site, and the building circulation links and crosses over the site pathways.
Like many rural buildings the territory of the house feels at some points to be extensive and at others intimate. It is a series of thin internal and external spaces and courtyards; some contained, some covered and some open, that are discovered as you arrive and walk through the house. Internal spaces are connected to adjacent landscapes and there are views both north towards the water and south over the dam.
The house appears as a large scale wall in silhouette from the south; a new landscape element which frames the larger landscape of the water and You Yangs beyond. Internally the wall is thickened at points to contain the space of the stair, the fire place and a window seat that looks to the inland side of the property.
Load bearing reinforced concrete block walls (double block and reverse block-veneer), with engaged steel lintel beams support hollowcore concrete slabs and create a durable interior with high thermal mass. The floor is a polished, dark concrete screed that naturally wears and weathers and along with the dark pool surface reflects the changing light and shadows of the surrounds.
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