Embracing Duality – Bluff House by Inarc Architects
Flinders, VIC, Australia
With its dual faces, Bluff House reaches out toward its coastal location and anchors itself to the adjacent Victorian countryside. Inarc Architects responds to the intriguing geology of the locale with a sense of both simplicity and complexity.
Located in Flinders, along Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Bluff House straddles both its coastal outpost and the adjacent rural countryside. This duality of location is reflected in a duality of identity and context, as in the geological complexity of the landslip-affected site the house is bored into. Inarc Architects has approached the duality by embracing it. In such a diverse and unique location, the adoption of both dualities allows an expression in all directions, outward stretching and with regard to materiality and form. Bluff House addresses its corner location and encourages the engagement with both elements.
Inarc Architects has approached the duality of the location by embracing it.
Tasked with creating an occasional home for the present that would eventually become a permanent home, Inarc Architects approached the design and resulting detail as a place of residence from the beginning. With an increasing demand for homes of everyday permanence in the area, being an achievable commute to Melbourne city, Bluff House joins a growing number of homes of similar purpose along the Mornington Peninsula. The final location of the home sits on a transition point between two shifting geologies, where deeply buried piers structurally anchor the home to the crest of the allotment. The upper level then cantilevers over the steep terrain below.
With an increasing demand for homes of everyday permanence in the area, being an achievable commute to Melbourne city, Bluff House joins a growing number of homes of similar purpose along the Mornington Peninsula.
Linking with the ground level landscaping, the internal planning is deliberately engaging with the site, opposing the cantilevered elements (in the corners of the living room and main bedroom) to allow for a detachment from the overall form. This ledge allows for a sense of leaning over an edge, which is contrasted against the northern edge, which is deliberately protective of the elements and the coast. This northern front addresses the more rural context and embraces it through a grounding, overlooking the paddocks and windbreaking rows of tall trees. Contrasting its open, glass, steel and concrete southern side, the northern edge is clad in blackbutt timber boards, adding a welcoming warmth to the entry of the home. The resulting angles created on both façades are the results of abating wind, optimising sun, and working with the garden and exposed elements.
The internal planning is deliberately engaging with the site.
Built by VCON, together with landscape by Fiona Brockhoff and furniture selections by Nexus Designs, the overall form of Bluff House reflects a complexity in geometry that is in fact a response to its site. A sense of restraint in rolled out internally, with a simple palette of white plaster ceilings, grey tiles, warm timber floor and wall panels. A home of contrasts, Bluff House celebrates its duality and expresses it through form, materiality and outlook. Inarc Architects has responded to this unique and complex site with just uniqueness and complexity, creating a truly unique coastal home.