Considered Immersion – Heron House by Wolveridge Architects
Mt Martha, VIC, Australia

Photography Timothy Kaye
Interior Design Wolveridge Architects
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Considered holistically, Heron House is a focused part of a greater whole, master-planned as an immersion within a considered landscape setting. Wolveridge Architects expresses a curated openness, welcoming inwards elements of the outdoors as key to the internal lived experience, while drawing on a robust material palette that provides protection from the coastal climate.

In its proximity to Mt Martha beach, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Heron House sits within both walking distance to lush natural landscapes and the sea. As a response to its positioning, the resulting home is conceived from a place of combined openness, together with a welcomed resilience to match the incoming harshness of its climate. As a focused part of a wider picture, the resulting home is a study in the careful and considered master planning that ponders both the greater effect and integration within context, as well as the finer details of the lived experience on a more micro level. Combining exposed block and brickwork with extensive glass openings, the home is conceived as a place of both protection and deep connection to the outdoors. Wolveridge Architects proposes a series of open and interconnected spaces that hinge on an inherent resilience, explored as a welcomed conversation with the site.

As a focused part of a wider picture, the resulting home is a study in the careful and considered master planning that ponders both the greater effect and integration within context, as well as the finer details of the lived experience on a more micro level.

Built by Ongarello, Heron House embraces its natural offerings in both how it engages with the site and how it encourages a residential experience that spills over beyond the bounding walls of the home. Due to its location, a need for matched resilience meant concrete blockwork was clearly an appropriate construction material. Its expression and the integrated patterning then elevate these essential and core structural elements, while making them a feature of their own. It is through a similar considered lens that the pitched roof silhouettes sit as peaks, referencing the simplified and rural design language. Sitting alongside the masonry are timber weatherboard cladding elements that connect to the home’s existing context.

While openings allow a visual connection, the operable façade elements allow a crossflow of ventilation to encase the home with an embrace of the natural and allow for controlled passive comfort throughout the year. With varying temperatures and conditions as a key consideration, ensuring the home could open and close to respond accordingly was crucial. Allowing the home to exist unobtrusively within its siting, the materiality is selected to sit in harmony with the natural elements and not compete, blending into its bush setting. Further emphasising a sense of disguise is the removal of traditional fencing, which is replaced with post and wire defining markers that allow vegetation to coexist and cross over the traditional borders. Internally, a similar robustness is expressed in the polished concrete floors and integrated storage, allowing for flexibility and a more focused engagement with the outdoors.

Built by Ongarello, Heron House embraces its natural offerings in both how it engages with the site and how it encourages a residential experience that spills over beyond the bounding walls of the home.

Heron House reinterprets the contemporary rural home through a refinement of detail and an expression of its robustness. Wolveridge Architects takes noted cues from the surroundings and propose a home of appropriate and considered measure, one that embraces its greater landscape.

Published 16 April, 2021
Photography  Timothy Kaye
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