Because the site is exposed to strong northeasterly winds, the main living, kitchen and master suite pavilions wrap around a sheltered, west-facing courtyard. The largest pavilion accommodates the entrance and main living area, which includes a soaring, double-height space, and a more enclosed dining area.
"Each of the gabled forms has a spacious, open interior, with a fully glazed wall maximising the sun and view," says Warburton. "But there are also low ceilings and flat-roof areas in between, where the spaces are deliberately closed in to provide a more cosy, intimate feel. These include the circulation areas, library and dining room. The contrast between the high and the low ceilings heightens the visual drama."
To provide a strong connection to the immediate landscape, most rooms open to the outdoors. The architect has also brought the exterior materials through to the interior one bagged schist wall forms a massive fireplace surround.
"I like to emphasise the importance of a fireplace," Warburton says. "Here, the fireplace becomes a strong element within the overall design of the house. Its long, cantilevered hearth, which appears to float above the floor, helps to lighten the mass of the stone, and reinforces the long front-to-rear axis."
Tiled circulation areas bordering the main living spaces play a similar role, and provide further visual continuity.
Wide openings a characteristic feature of Warburton's designs allow an easy flow through all the public spaces, and ensure there are continuous sight lines throughout the house. But the architecture also acknowledges the climate extremes of the location.