Contemporary house with stone and cedar

Mature eucalyptus trees and a meandering stream provide the framework for this contemporary property nestled in the bush

Local stone and Pacific teak feature on this architecture, cottage, estate, facade, home, house, landscape, property, real estate, sky, brown, purple
Local stone and Pacific teak feature on this holiday home in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. The house was designed by architect Simon Rodrigues of Rodrigues Bodycoat Architects.
Mature eucalyptus trees and a meandering stream provide the framework for this contemporary property nestled in the bush.

Natural materials invariably come to mind when building in the bush. After all, they are a guaranteed way to ensure a house is in harmony with the landscape.

Homes in the Margaret River region of Western Australia are frequently built from local stone and timber materials that allow a house to blend in with the natural surroundings.

And so it was for this holiday home, designed by architect Simon Rodrigues of Rodrigues Bodycoat Architects. The house sits on a natural ridge above a stream that meanders its way in a lazy arc around the bush-clad site. The red earth track leading to the house is lined with large boulders found on site, so it was an obvious choice to extend the stone through to the house.

"The owners wanted to include as many natural materials as possible," says Rodrigues. "Some of the stone used in the landscaping is from the property, while the rest is sourced locally to fit the colour and profile required by the owners. Here, it is teamed with Pacific teak wood, with the planks laid vertically."

From the drive, the house gives little away it appears as a long, low building that pushes out towards the bush on one side. The architect says playing down the significance of the entry was intentional.

"It's not until you open the front door that the house really reveals itself," he says. "While the roof is pitched low over the entry and external circulation area along the south side, on the inside it rakes upward to embrace the view and northern aspect through full-height glazing in all the rooms on this side of the house."

A stepped deck is a feature of this architecture, estate, home, house, property, real estate, roof, gray
A stepped deck is a feature of this Margaret River house designed by architect Simon Rodrigues of Rodrigues Bodycoat Architects.

The stone wall forms the spine of the house, defining the east-west axis. It extends the entire length of the main building and is flanked by the timber walkway that connects with a separate self-contained guest wing.

"This stone is part of the contemporary building aesthetic of the Margaret River region," says Rodrigues. "Here, it forms the dominant feature of the interior all the interior spaces are aligned with this wall. And we have placed uplights on the floor to highlight the stone at night."

The architect says the wall was left as uncluttered as possible. For this reason there are no overhead cabinets in the galley-style kitchen, which is the social centre of the house. However, the owners did request a long window that doubles as a splashback. This provides a glimpse of the picturesque bushland on the south side of the house.

A long island and matching perimeter cabinets reinforce the horizontal axis. The cabinetry along the wall appears to extend through the glass door to the timber deck where it forms an outdoor kitchen with a separate cooktop.

Rodrigues says the lines between inside and out are deliberately blurred, with the covered deck functioning as a key part of the living area.

"The deck, on the northeast side of the house, floats across the landscape overlooking the stream and bush, and a swimming pool at the side. Because most of the bad weather comes from the opposite direction, it is very sheltered, so it can be enjoyed all year round."

With its white walls and pale wood veneer, architecture, bathroom, floor, flooring, interior design, property, real estate, room, sink, tile, gray, white
With its white walls and pale wood veneer, the bathroom in this suite continues the neutral colour palette of the rest of the house designed by architect Simon Rodrigues of Rodrigues Bodycoat Architects.

The large openings have insect screens that can be hidden if not required. However, there are fixed insect screens over the high louvre windows, which can be kept open to help with cross ventilation.

"The house is not air conditioned, but can be kept at a pleasant temperature in summer and winter," says the architect. "The concrete floor has underfloor heating, and there is a wood-burning fireplace in the living room."

In keeping with the relaxed nature of the holiday home, the master suite has an open layout. A bank of glossy painted cabinets separate the bedroom from the bathroom. These provide ample storage, so there is no need for additional furniture.

Both the bed and freestanding bath are positioned to maximise the view through continuous full-height glazing. And with no near neighbours, privacy is assured.

Jun 28, 2014
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