Flinders House

The landscape of Flinders is formative in the design for this house, With the rolling, gnarled and austere terrain reflected in the curvaceous form of the building. The house is located just below the ridgeline of a seventy-five-acre property, with a landform that falls towards Bass Straight and views extending across to Westernport Bay. The site demanded a house that could gracefully withstand the extremes of ocean storm fronts & high winds through the seasons while taking full advantage of the views.

The brief called for a house that could function as a generous and flexible family space, as well as being large enough to accommodate guests, extended family, a significant art collection and large functions. In response to this, the program for the house was split into two forms which can be entirely closed off from each other, allowing for the family to occupy one wing only, or alternatively for the whole house to be opened up. This programmatic response, in combination with the demands of the site and prevailing weather, led directly to the form making of two, abstract sculptural wing forms which carve out calm and protected external spaces between. In time, the external pool and deck space to the northwest will be shaded by a canopy of deciduous pleached trees, enhancing the solar passive elements of the design.

The construction of the house utilises the benefits of mass construction and carefully controls the sun paths through the spaces. The use of thermal mass elements and high levels of insulation provide a stable living environment within the house. The services for the house are split across the two wings, enabling zoning which minimises energy use. An important aspect of the project is also the revegetation of the former pastoral land resulting in the planting of over 40 acres of native plants on the property as well as an olive farm, which offers back to the peninsula a significant native garden, and improved habitat for wildlife.

A restrained material palette has been used through the building referencing textures and colours which are reminiscent of the rural, coastal environment in which it is located. Sun-bleached heavily textured render, which is hand-applied, contrasts to the burnt charcoal timbers used on the windows. The simplicity and rawness of the materiality are continued internally, with charcoal concrete floors, off white rendered walls and rolling blackened timber battened walls. The materiality and the form provide a series of sculptural and contemplative spaces within a beautiful, but harsh environment.




Flinders / Boonwurrung Country




Jean-Luc Laloux, Peter Bennetts

The Daily Telegraph