Archive 2011

Featured Project - Hill Plains House


Architect: Wolveridge Architects
Photography: Derek Swalwell

The rectilinear plan form of the building is based in agricultural construction and considers the integration of object and landscape. This idea is drawn from Victorian era farm structures of the region where buildings were developed largely on pragmatic terms.

The building structure is typical of portal frame construction, incorporating 5 x 4m modules. The rectilinear plan is punctured by a service core, forming an axial nature within the plan.


The main living room, centrally located on the plan provides a protected outdoor alternative in most wind conditions. Large oversized custom 250 x 31mm blackbutt cladding of the building's ends incorporate framed views and organizes the building program with central living/services core and sleeping zones cradled in timber at each end.

An attempt to create an ‘Australianness' with a rugged exterior, characterized by a palette of natural materials, a sense of craftsmanship and childhood reminder of growing up in the 70's.


Consciously, the house employs non-domestic materials steel/concrete/recycled timber/concrete masonry. A dark interior draws the eye to the external vista reinforcing the connection with site, such as the view from the shower; a large frameless window overlooking a natural grass amphitheatre with magnificent gum tree in the distance. This palette incorporates a number of recycled timbers including internal plywood wall and ceiling lining recycled from Pilkington site delivery crates. The sheets come in 2400x600 complete with nails, markings and are finished using a black penetrating stain.


The vaulted ceiling lining is off-cuts from structural beams milled for recycled flooring. Elsewhere recycled Baltic pine flooring is used to line a large sliding wall panel and basement hatch, due to its light weight. The natural finish provides a warm contrast to the otherwise black stains.

The master bedroom wall is lined entirely from an old pack of recycled hardwood flooring. Pergola posts are of recycled turpentine. The off-grid dwelling is highly insulated, ventilates naturally and is powered by a 2kw solar/battery system with remotely located sub-ground backup generator.

After dusk the interior takes on a soft character with a low level of lighting and large living room windows sheen with illuminated curtains. This statement reinforces the importance of the juncture between the interior/exterior and context of the region as a primary contributor to contemporary interior thinking.1110a6

Winner of 2011 Australian Institute of Architects Sustainability Awards in Victoria