Tralee – Moonah Links
This house – on the secluded coastal Moonah Links Golf Course on the Mornington Peninsula – exhibits a level of sophistication and understatement that is all too rare in upmarket residential design. While lacking nothing in amenity, the design relies upon innovative but simple planning, a limited materials palette and exquisite internal and external detailing for its impact. An arrangement of timber-clad cubic forms is suspended from bold structural elements such as the off-form concrete spine wall and expressed steelwork. The weight of these elements is contrasted with the transparency of large window areas and double height walls of fixed glass.
The arrangement of the forms follows the slope of the site, with upper level cantilevered elements providing articulation and ensuring that the building, while bold in appearance, does not overpower the coastal landscape. Vehicle and pedestrian access is at road level by way of a suspended timber ‘jetty’ constructed out of salvaged wharf timbers. The visitor progresses to the lower living areas via an off-form concrete stair while maintaining visual connection with the surrounding ti-tree and golf links at all times. Bedroom areas, which are at road level, are connected by a bridge through the double height void of the living areas below.
There is very little that is decorative in this house. The exquisitely detailed structural elements and materials result in a refined industrial aesthetic which is sophisticated and luxurious. The designer has dispensed with plasterboard linings in favour of express-jointed craftwood throughout; exposed steel has been gloss finished; and off-form concrete has been pigmented in warm earthy tones. Timber accents punctuate the interior: staggered timber floor boards encroach upon a carpeted area; a massive rough-hewn beam acts as a vanity bench in a bathroom, providing contrast with sleek wall and floor tiling.
This house exudes originality and confidence. The design is evidence of the designer’s skill and attention to detail, and depth of understanding of form and materials. A most worthy winner of Building Design of the Year.
Winner: Building Design of the Year 2010
Winner: Residential Design – New Houses: over $1M construction cost
Winner: Interior Design – Residential
Winner: Most Innovative Use of Glass