Lasting Resonance – Great Ocean Road Residence by Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors
Aireys Inlet, VIC, Australia

Photography Mark Roper
Words Bronwyn Marshall

In its unique and enviable siting, the formal arrangement of Great Ocean Road Residence was deeply driven by a connection and immersion within its context. Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors delicately weaves the formal response to the site with a considered and detailed rigour, proposing a coastal home of lasting resonance.

Sitting along the meditative coastline, Great Ocean Road Residence nestles into its Aireys Inlet locale while bordering a National Park on one side and embracing its iconic multiple aspects on the other. Although an occasional home of sorts, no compromise has been made in ensuring the resulting abodeemits permanent sensibilities while being empathic and responsive to the surrounding dense and layered natural setting it sits amongst. Internally, the experience sees volumes open up to the vast ocean beyond, while the exterior acts in response to close consultation and a need to deeply conceal and immerse the structure in its landscape. Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors summons a muted and dramatic addition to the enviable outpost, offering a sense of balance. Through select materiality and an emphasis on quality, a home is created that is intended to be passed down from generation to generation.

Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors summons a muted and dramatic addition to the enviable outpost, offering a sense of balance.

Built by Spence Constructions, the geothermal structural system supporting the home bores deep into its site and becomes an integral part of how its elements perform and interact with one another. In its remote siting, an emphasis on sustainable principles has been imbedded into the home with thermal massing for optimised climate control, solar access and shading, natural ventilation and geothermal heat exchange systems. In a fire-prone area, the inclusion of a 100,000-litre water retention tank provides additional support to the systems integrated to protect the property and surrounding vegetation as needed. While bordering a National Park, the site itself sits within a reserve and conservation precinct and clear stakeholder engagement was crucial from the project commencement, ensuring sight lines were not interrupted or disputed. Opening up in three main axes, the home connects the experience of the home with Eagle Rock, Split Point Lighthouse and to the cliff face of the adjacent iconic Surf Coast.

Imagined as a home to withstand its harsh coastal climate, the comprising palette offers a robustness with heavy weighted masonry elements ensuring the physical home reflects the intentions of it being a forever home for its growing family. The resulting home comes together with clean uninterrupted lines, large spans of glazing, bold and inviting gestures to motion one through space, while also offering itself as an iconic addition to the coast. The floating roof line above sits in response to its considered approach, where a minimal restraint underpins every comprising decision.

Imagined as a home to withstand its harsh coastal climate, the comprising palette offers a robustness with heavy weighted masonry elements ensuring the physical home reflects the intentions of it being a forever home for its growing family.

The positioning of Great Ocean Road Residence is optimised through a clear connection to site and the ocean. Rob Mills Architecture & Interiors has created a textural and honest home that is immersed within and respectful of its milieu, while also being a place of enduring beauty.

Published 21 January, 2021
Photography  Mark Roper
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