This three-bedroom house in Mount Martha is a weekender home designed for a semi-retired couple and their whippet, Monty. Designed by Bryant Alsop Architects, the house provides an idyllic retreat for the clients and a secluded haven to entertain guests. The concept has been carried out in a way that it takes advantage of its orientation and bush setting with sunlight, scenic bay views, and privacy in mind. We’re just as excited as you are. Welcome to Treetops House. Let’s go!
“Typically found in landscape-rich sites [think sand dunes, woodlands, rolling hills, etc] with the view “just there”; our challenge was to create this sense of retreat on a large but essentially suburban corner block in Mount Martha on the Mornington Peninsula. The inherent nature of the site was that whilst heavily treed and embedded in nature, the greatest connection to the view was only going to be made at first-floor level.” – Bryant Alsop Architects
The entire concept gives thought to the clients love of food, wine and entertaining, tempered by their wish to be private and self-contained when guests are staying. This idea transpired in both the planning and the materiality of the house, and informs the initial architectural gestures when the design process began.
To achieve this, the team decided to pull the house as far into the corner of the site as possible, concealing the rest of the block from neighbours and, being the high point, getting the most out of the views across Port Phillip Bay towards the Melbourne CBD. The added benefit of this was to establish a compact building footprint that scribes the edge of a large informal, native garden affixed to the house via a long covered terrace stepping down to the lawn, a space to sit and take in the land as it falls away from the house.
“The journey through the house takes visitors along a timber-clad wall punctuated by slot windows framing views to the garden. The interior scheme of the ground floor reflects the formal materiality – solid, grounded concrete terraces and rendered block balanced with polished-concrete screed floors and charcoal coloured ceilings. This broodiness is punctuated by the organic shape of the green rendered cellar – a shot of colour repeated throughout the house. Floor to ceiling windows beyond draw diffuse light into the entry emphasizing the shape and texture of the cellar walls.” – Bryant Alsop Architects
Who else is digging the vibes? This amazing home peacefully nestled in Mount Martha perfectly reflected the aspirations of the client more than the whim of the designer. The strikingly bold contemporary design enforced in this weekend retreat is an ideal example of form and function combined.