Text supplied by Takt / Studio for Architecture
A few hours south of Sydney, secluded, this place offers breathtaking views of Kangaroo Valley and the Tasman Sea beyond. Backed to the west by a dramatic hillside of untouched rainforest, the Yarrawa Brush, is home to a number of unique species of ancient flora and fauna.
This landscape wall defines a delightful, embraced setting, unusually shielded against the hot summer sunset.
The components of the brief for Takt Studio – a modest main house and smaller pavilion with guest accommodation – were positioned just off the sides of a gentle knoll, creating a third space, an outdoor courtyard.
This captured landscape was developed to make the most of opportunities for entry sequencing. It offers a momentary pause on arrival, to appreciate the connection and unusual contrast between wild rainforest and open manicured pastureland.
Protected from the major winds through the valley, it forms a becalmed harbour on the hill. This siting and entry sequence deliberately delays, and draws out the inevitable reveal of the magnificent view.
The owners love of mid century modern design, coupled with a remote site, and tight budget, meant that the principles of the Case Study House program were eminently relevant.
A simple structural system was developed – expressed steel post and beam. Planning is efficient. A propped skylight slot runs the entire length of the main house, which enables a connection between the two contrasting edges of the site. It mixes the distinctly different qualities of the eastern and western light throughout the day, shifting mood subtly over time.
Within the singular section, incisions are made to accommodate protected outdoor spaces. The creation of these deep zones of threshold condition within the building mean comfortable delightful spaces can be sought and found in most times of day or direction of wind.
Anchored by a wide, protective services/entrance gallery along its western facade, in the main building all internal spaces are focussed to the East – an expansive, yet carefully framed valley, cliff and ocean polyptych – blending interior with landscape.
Balancing the drama is a warm internal joinery fit out. Blackwood joinery, and accent colours throughout take their cues from the early morning light across the landscape.
A simple palette of robust and straightforward materials – fieldstone from the site, rough sawn cladding, raw fibre cement sheet, hardwood window joinery, bespoke door handles. Hidden in floor firewood storage adds a playful air to everyday utility.
An off grid home on a remote site, this project required input from a dedicated and diverse team, from specialist environmental consultants, to carpenters, joiners, window and door makers, environmental systems suppliers, and skillful stone masons.
It is a house conceived as belonging to its extraordinary site. Initially envisaged as a holiday retreat, with a view to longer term retirement, this building swiftly shifted gears to become the new home base for its owners.