Designed by Format Architects, the Buxton Rise is a new bush haven overlooking the Black Range State Forest 100km northeast of Melbourne. The brief was straightforward, the house must respond to the site, be simple to construct, be inexpensive to build and efficient to run. This weekend getaway is nestled on a 20-hectare property situated near the foot of the Cathedral Range state park just outside the township of Buxton. Shall we take a closer look?
“The house is designed as a single level in an elevated position with the back slightly cut into the hill. This allows the front of the house to sit on grade providing unfettered access outside and a strong visual connection to the land from inside. The budget was tight so the house is relatively compact, at just under 180m2 it includes an open plan living/dining/kitchen space, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, laundry and storage, but the spatial arrangement and constant visual connection to the outside make the house feel much bigger.” – Format Architects
A variation of ridgelines, valleys with ephemeral watercourses, remnant clusters of native vegetation and cleared grazing land surrounds the site and so it was important to design the new building to protect and enhance this natural landscape. This home features a large and deep overhanging roof designed to offer shade and protection from the elements, constructed of a grid of deep laminated veneer lumber beams exposed and expressed in the ceiling.
The design of the structure responds well to the surroundings and interacts with the elements to create natural comfort; there are spaces designed for late evening sun, or sunny spots in the morning so that you can track the light throughout the day. Winter sun penetration is achieved by facing a large open plan glass living, dining & kitchen area to the north, east and west, this area is open to the views and centred spatially around a 3-sided glass firebox.
Internally, the design is predominantly warm and features restrained detailing. Polished plaster walls, plywood ceilings and exposed aggregate concrete floors lend this house a calm and relaxed feel.
“The entire design revolves around the idea of simple living. I enjoyed integrating some informal ideas. For example, the utilitarian kitchen is designed like a traditional farmhouse kitchen where family activity and kitchen work are integrated into one big room with a huge dining table in the middle. This open spatial arrangement is followed through in the detailing where open and continuous cantilevered wall shelves allow a single wall finish to flow uninterrupted throughout the entire living space. Spatial continuity and continuity of surface is a key design feature of this house as it lends a quiet unity and calmness to the whole.” – Format Architects
With every room viewing out into the stunning landscape, the Buxton Rise by Format Architects is more than just a humble weekend retreat where the owners relax and switch off from the bustling daily life. It’s the ultimate holiday home!