Perched atop a commanding hill on a 50-acre Australian estate, this 640-square-meter home by Michael Lumby Architecture and Nielsen Jenkins reimagines the Australian Farmhouse concept. Spectacular views of vineyards, Philip Island, and Western Port Bay surround it, but exposure to coastal weather necessitated a design that embraced a large, sheltered courtyard garden at its core. This prominent courtyard becomes the heart of the home, offering a meditative refuge. The house itself is spatially flexible, opening up to host extended family, then closing off behind the courtyard wall to become an intimate one-bedroom haven when guests leave. Every room offers garden views, creating an immersive connection with nature.
The home expands over a single level, set beneath a sleek roof design that also forms an integral part of the interior design. One-meter thick walls plant boldly into the natural environment, framing breathtaking vistas of the rolling green landscape.
Inside the home, the black roof creates a cozy canopy, broken by beams of natural light at the peak. A tan leather sofa warmly contrasts the dark canopy. Its concrete base forms part of a raised room perimeter, which gives the living room an intimate atmosphere. Wood logs are stacked in an alcove by the fireplace, building a natural accent in the cool gray concrete decor scheme.
Floor-to-ceiling windows break open the home interior to far-flung views of the beautiful countryside. Wide, concrete sills make impromptu window seats upon which to soak up the vista.
A second living space is comfortably furnished with a charcoal gray tufted sofa, which darkly complements a bold, black fireplace wall.
Commanding walls and deep eaves give the reimagined farmhouse a strong presence on the natural landscape. Mature trees and shrubs anchor down the borders of the bold, modern home design, giving it roots.
A contemplative home workspace features a bespoke, fitted desk design and a towering bookcase installation. Black metal library ladders reach the top of the wooden bookcase, making the most of the vertical space.
A wide window gives the home workspace a peaceful view of the garden to soothe a stressed mind.
Open kitchen shelving gives the modern kitchen a farmhouse feel, cheerfully displaying crockery, cookbooks, glassware, and serveware.
Outdoor living spaces make the most of the sprawling panorama. An outdoor kitchen with a grill serves the social outdoor dining room, which gets plenty of use when family calls around.
The thick walls frame private courtyards, providing even intimate spaces with a pleasing outlook.
Within the private courtyard, there is another eating area with a concrete table and bench, plus several modern outdoor chairs. The large house has only two permanent residents but the flexible floor plan and outdoor social areas accommodate frequently visiting family members and their children over the holidays.
A unique bathroom design conveys the modern farmhouse aesthetic. A green courtyard view reflects a stunning courtyard that unfolds beyond the edge-to-edge window.
Every room has a garden outlook, many of which were shaped around pre-existing trees. You will also find a series of pools around the property, which make circular points of interest across the topography.
The contemporary architecture is cut away at key points, forming a lens through which to experience the natural beauty of the site.
Because the site has no council mains, all of the domestic water is collected by the roof and then stored in circular concrete water tanks, as is omnipresent in farming infrastructure.
The circular water tank storage sparks a common motif across the garden, which is communicated in the round swimming pool, a series of ponds, birdbaths, and a circular fire pit.
Boundary walls split to welcome in the serene horizon.
Countryside and coastal views wash toward the home but the arrangement of the property is designed to comfortably counter the coastal conditions.
The large and sheltered central courtyard garden serves as the most important space on the property.
While the pool terrace looks out over the world at large, the central courtyard offers protection from the open outlook, forming a protected heart of the home after nightfall.
Concrete stepping stones seem to break off from the patio, floating across a shallow body of water to form a quaint pathway.
Towering treetops close in over the high walls around the home, giving the large outdoor spaces a sense of secrecy.
The trees also provide blissful shade from the Australian sunshine.
After guests leave the farmhouse, three-quarters of the house can be shut down behind the courtyard wall, leaving the ancillary functions. The front wing then becomes a simple one-bedroom pavilion with the main living space.
An old driveway with Elms was repurposed as the pedestrian entry.
Pre-existing lilly-pilly trees make a windbreak to the north of the pool and punctuate the exterior layout.
Borders are planted with soft grasses that ripple in the breeze.
The single-story farmhouse sits flatly at the top of the hill, perched upon a carpet of green.
A wall of trees edges the property.
The floor plan illustrates the extent of the central courtyard program and the living spaces and private volumes that surround it. We can also observe how smaller, more private courtyards are interwoven around the property to always maintain close communication with nature. The large outer terrace connects with the swimming pool and the wider landscape.
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