Built overlooking the Bass Strait in Shoreham on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia this new home by Borland Architecture is designed to soak up the ocean views.
What was the brief?
This project is all about the water view. The clients wanted a home as close to the water as the planning rules would allow, with as many rooms facing the view as possible. They wanted to expand their living space, create different zones for his teenage kids, work and play whilst still being able to train horses and run their businesses. The home was to be single level, follow the natural fall of the land and be private from the main road.
It was to be robust to withstand the extreme weather with minimal maintenance yet luxurious and comfortable.
What building methods were used?
Blockwork, Steel and timber structure. Concrete render, glass and timber paneling to external facades. Integral windows with 25mm frames to all fixed and sliding panels.
Internally, feature walls in Sandstone and Easycraft VJ board with all others plastered with polished concrete. Floors in Endicott crazy paving and engineered timber floor boards. Bathrooms with Alt Surfaces X Bond micro cement to all walls. All benchtops in custom cast concrete with joinery in timber veneer and laminate.
What were the key challenges?
Being a green field site in an area of outstanding natural beauty, getting a planning permit to construct a home in this environment is challenging.
The brief called for as much glazing as possible facing the water views. Unfortunately the water is on the southern side of the building which created challenges in regards to achieving high performance in energy efficiency.
The ocean side of the building can be very exposed to wild weather blowing off the ocean so solutions had to be found to create alternative calm outdoor settings.
What were the solutions?
Firstly, to construct a building on this property, the home needed to be a working farm. Our clients have a passion for horses and we therefore proposed to construct stables, a training ménage and divide the rest of the property into paddocks for horses and cattle which the clients would breed.
Secondly, the home had to be positioned so the view of the water was uninterrupted from the road. We modelled the entire terrain and planned a low level building set into the landscape to achieve this outcome.
In regards to the natural orientation of the building and the clients desire to maximise water views through full height glazing from every space, we firstly sought out the best performance glazing we could find. The product we used not only achieved this outcome by being double glazed with an argon filled cavity, but also had thermally broken frames which are extremely narrow in profile (25mm thick). The frames typically perform worst so by minimising the size we were able to achieve a better performance. We offset the high proportion of glazing with a very high level of insulation in the solid walls and roof.
The zoning of the home is also very important. Whilst all the views are to the south, this side of the home can be very exposed to the natural forces of nature coming from the Bass Strait. We designed the home to offer a calm counterpoint to this wild side by placing the alfresco dining, seating areas and pool on the northern side of the building. The building form wraps around these outdoor zones to shelter it and provide a peaceful setting whilst still being visually connected with the ocean through the home.