Through the trees

Sustainability was high on the agenda for this bold yet understated home, strategically designed to see between the trees – a far greener option than felling them

Designed by Anthony Chan, Chan Architecture

From the architects:

Located on a long and sloping site along the Mornington Peninsula, this dwelling was inspired by its unique surrounding context of native bushland and the close proximity of Port Phillip Bay.   

Perched on the highest point of the site, towards the rear, the long steeply sloping driveway provides changing viewpoints as one approaches the building from the street. 

 Once inside the unassuming entrance, a modest timber staircase takes you to the elevated main living spaces which unveil the spectacular views of the water and surrounding bushland.

The underlying principle of this project was to provide a simple, environmentally sensitive home that respected its surrounding context in terms of minimising the amount of site cut and tree clearing required while taking advantage of its elevated position and potential for views.   

As such, the siting of the house and landscaping follows the natural grade of the land and was sited such that no significant trees needed to be removed from the site.  

The owners were also inspired by the colours and textures of the native bush and requested that the home provided opportunities for viewing and contemplation.  

The response to this was to thoroughly analyse the site during the design phase and identify those viewpoints which provided the most picturesque outlooks and quality of light.  

We then applied these viewpoints to the design and located glazing and openings precisely to frame these views once the house was completed.

The minimalist meditation room downstairs was a separate space away from the rest of the house which received morning light via the long skylight onto the timber clad wall, with views out over the deck to the Zen rock garden providing opportunity for calmness and contemplation.   

The three bedrooms and two bathrooms were located upstairs to the rear for greater privacy.

Sustainability was also an important aspect of this home – from the extensive use of recycled red ironbark throughout with natural finishes all with low chemical content to optimising orientation to capture the light, high performance glazing and utilisation of natural ventilation to minimise the amount of heating and cooling needed throughout the year.

Credit list

Kitchen designer
Chan Architecture
Spitfire Designs
Main flooring/bedroom flooring
Kennedy Timbers
Window/door joinery
Trends International Design Awards (TIDA) Homes – Highly Commended
Croft Wootton Construction
Interior designer
Chan Architecture
Kennedy Timbers
Bluescope Steel
Bathroom tiles
Academy Tiles
General heating
DPP Heating

Designed by: Anthony Chan, Chan Architecture

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Tatjana Plitt

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