Embracing the prominent and established walnut tree residing on site, Walnut House is an homage to its connection to and expression of the natural. As the home sits nestled into the rural enclave of Daylesford, various apertures direct sightlines to the surrounding lush landscape, and out onto the Botanic Gardens it abuts, to the rear. Imagined as an idyllic escape from the city, the resulting home embodies an ingrained sense of calm through a considered restraint in all its comprising gestures. From the outset, ascending the stairs on approach and passing through the oversized and frameless pivot front door, there is a feeling of being transported through a portal, to a place of enrapturing stillness.
Perched atop its own concrete plinth of sorts, two gabled forms offer a connection to the surrounding context, imbedding a fluency through form. The weighted base ensures a solidified connection to the site, while creating an element of journey and discovery as the home is experienced from an elevated setting. As both an inspiration and a focal point, the custom-stained Silver Top ash timber exterior wraps itself around its namesake, articulating a responding setback in the floor plan as a result. Symmetry binds the home, reinforcing a considered balance on the main level, while the garage tucks itself neatly under the main living and retreat zones, concealed behind its concrete-treated façade.
As a play on scale, the invisible link between the gable forms compresses the entry experience with its 2400mm ceiling height and through the use of a transparent materiality, frames views at both ends. Turning to the living and bedroom wings respectively, each opens up with a generosity that encourages the act of gathering, welcoming an engagement with the architecture. The vastness of the vaulted ceilings lifts the eye upward, while integrated linear lighting sits at its peak and acts as its own subtle installation, softly illuminating the space. The rear living area embraces its north facing aspect, with full height and minimally trimmed glazing, firmly reminds occupants of their immersion within such a unique rural setting.
Drawing on contextual cues, Walnut House combines an impressed warmth through its core materiality and tone, while also offering an aptly fitting response to site through form and the familiar.