Alexandra Buchanan Architecture

North Warrandyte House

A contemporary bushland house designed for a young family that love the outdoors and entertaining

This bold contemporary home perches high above the Yarra River at North Warrandyte on a raised plateau nestled amongst dense native bushland.

Restricted access, treacherous topography and environmental and bushfire overlays were challenges overcome during the process to resolve a monumental form and ambitious structure. View corridors and solar orientation directly influenced the building’s position and arrangement.

Twin butterfly roofs were developed to enable sailing eaves to frame views of the tree canopy and sky and allow sunlight to illuminate interior spaces via high level glazing. A split form allows two ‘wings’ of the dwelling to be sited independently so that views, privacy and outdoor access can be enjoyed unimpeded.

Combining stone and timber with contemporary construction materials including glass and steel the dwelling takes its cues from the material character of the rocky and forested surrounds. Naturally finished stone walls bring tactility and warmth to the interior and allow the exterior of the building to gently recede into the bushland setting.

Project details

“We built our dream home along the Yarra River. It was a challenging project from the very beginning – planning restrictions, environmental overlays, wildfire overlays and more. ABA turned the seemingly impossible into positive outcomes which benefited the design as a whole”
“We now have a beautiful home & life in the Victorian bushland with our two young children. It’s everything we could have dreamed of!”
“A challenging project from the very beginning – planning restrictions, environmental overlays, wildfire overlays and more. Each challenge Alex and her team managed to overcome with critical and creative design thinking. It’s everything we could have dreamed of.”

Concept modelling

The siting and topography at the Warrandyte House made for some trickery in the planning to traverse a steep tree covered slope of rock. The solution that was explored through sketch models was a sliding plan with twinned butterfly roofs, allowing for light, views and privacy to be carefully managed.

Crafting the detail

The materiality, light and details are the heros in this house. Perfectly crafted and just enough to give texture and warmth without being overly complex.

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