The home’s split level configuration allows the garaging to be tucked below street level – avoiding cars detracting from the cottage look – with two large master bedrooms directly above.
“The main living-entertainment floor is on a mid level, located between these levels to provide an elevated view over a busy street, which in this quiet, picturesque town is a relative term,” says Koia.
“There’s also a large bunk room perfect for children downstairs – ideally setting the home up for two holidaying families, with parent couples having their own spaces and the children also in their own domain.”
While achieving an easy sense of spaciousness, the house is actually contained within a fairly modest footprint. However, the architect made use of every square metre of the site, including maximising indoor-outdoor opportunities via a series of courtyards and open spaces.
The home’s split-level design means you only have a few steps from the garage up to the living spaces, and from the living spaces it’s only a short flight up to the bedrooms.
“This house really is set up for social living, with the outlooks naturally a star attraction,” says Koia.
“While views to the countryside at the front are uninterrupted by the street below, at the rear, the generous-sized living area opens up to a courtyard with a garden wall and built-in fire finished in stone. This sheltered area is served with an outdoor dining setting."
The pale decor in the living area intentionally takes back seat to the views, while a stone tile feature wall with built-in fireplace and shelving helps anchor the home. And while the rear of the kitchen has a slate-look splashback and dark timber tones, the island is gleaming white and trained on the scenery.
Although the outlook straight ahead seems to go on forever, there are some near neighbours. Luckily, or rather by finely considered design, this house makes great use of selective sightlines.
So while one end of the home is largely finished in glass, the other end – close to the neighbours – has a slatted external element that effectively screens them from sight.
Utilising good passive solar principles, high insulation and underfloor heating, this home captures the sun at the right time of day, while reducing sunlight during the hottest part of the afternoon in summer.
Strategic use of solid wall planes, clerestory windows and external shades all play a part in this solar control.
Overall, the house is designed as an Earth-friendly sustainable home, with a focus on low maintenance products and whole of life costs.
Tony Koia, Koia Architects
Katie Deans Landscape Design
Oak timber by Peak Floor Trades
Luxaflex automated blinds, from McKenzie & Willis
Stuart Bateman, SB Design
Kitchen design and manufacture
Cedar, from Rosenfeld and Kidson
Porcelain, La Roche, grey
Contemporaneo range, from Ambience Systems
Concealed heatpump, by Central Heating Solutions
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
21 Sep, 2019