Seldom does a ‘Ceres’ like project come along where an expansive site with seemingly limitless possibilities is combined with a design savvy client and a healthy budget.
The 900 acre site fronting the Barwon River is an established family owned property with horse stud and farming interests.
A disused two storey brick managers dwelling on the site occupying arguably the most prominent position on the property was earmarked by the client as the most desirable option for the establishment of a new family home.
The project started simply enough as a renovation but quickly grew, expanding well beyond its own physical capacity.
The original dwelling, unrecognisable now, forms but part of a series of interconnecting pavilions which embrace a new central enclosed landscape garden court and pool area.
With a building on this scale, it seemed appropriate to fragment the functional spaces into clusters housed in defined individual pavilions, connected as they are, by glazed links that traverse the pools and water features that serve to separate and surround them, setting the prevailing water garden theme throughout.
There is a strong sense of modernity evidently applied to this pavilion/farmhouse arrangement of space which both contrasts with, and challenges its rural setting.
Traditional materials such as stacked stone and expressed timber elements contrast against crisp rendered walls and banded glass walling to instil a contemporary, realxed air throughout.
With such necessities as a private gym leading to a 25m lap pool, theatrette, bar and gaming room, dedicated guest pavilion, expansive outdoor entertaining areas and garden treatments by Paul Bangay, to help nestle the architecture into its country setting, this is arguably a rural oasis without equal.