Interpreting a Rural Vernacular – Hill Plains Cottage by Wolveridge Architects
Kyneton, VIC, Australia

Photography Nicole England
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Inspired by the surrounding vernacular of agricultural buildings, a simple long singular structure with beneath a sloped roof unfolds on site. Wolveridge Architects has combined a restrained and contextually appropriate materiality with an acute understanding of place, creating a place of seclusion.

Sitting neatly beside its neighbouring property, Hill Plains House, Hill Plains Cottage is conceived as an off-grid independent accommodation structure that takes heed from its surrounding context. Sitting at approximately 50 square metres, the structure is intended as a complementary dwelling for visitor accommodation and a place of retreat from the main house. In its rural setting, the form references the primary pitched roof form of the shed and barn, though Wolveridge Architects has taken liberties from its core formal principles.

Wolveridge Architects has combined a restrained and contextually appropriate materiality with an acute understanding of place, creating a place of seclusion.

The sense of rural remoteness is emphasising through the choice of a minimal and reserved palette, comprised of warm timber, iron sheeting, ply-wood internal lining and a simplified approach to joinery and furniture.

Similar to the rural structures it sits amongst, Hill Plains Cottage is a relatively low-lying and long structure, elongated to optimise view sightlines. As a key design focus to ensure the continued views were uninterrupted by the main home, this horizontality allows the structure to connect to its site over an extended distance. The cottage, however, remains still discreetly related to the main house, with the accompanying natural pool acting as an intermediary feature that draws inhabitants out from the main house and into the space adjacent the two buildings. The sense of rural remoteness is emphasised through the choice of a minimal and reserved palette, comprised of warm timber, iron sheeting, ply-wood internal lining and a simplified approach to joinery and furniture.

Sitting neatly beside its neighbouring property, Hill Plains House, Hill Plains Cottage is conceived as an off-grid independent accommodation structure that takes heed from its surrounding context.

On the one hand reflecting a simpler and less complicated existence, but detailed to reflect its purpose – a robust, welcoming, self-sufficient place to disengage.

In the absence of existing services, Hill Plains Cottage is positioned off-grid, on its own fresh piece of earth. Natural opportunities for solar gain have been captured to provide all energy for its occupants. Nuanced details have been integrated to ensure this 8-star energy rated building optimises its deep roof structure and natural cross ventilation opportunities.

Acting as a removed destination, the structure is both a place of recreation, and one of retreat and reflection. The clear, strong lines created and emphasised by the formal qualities of the structure are then also further echoed in the landscaping. Much like the approach taken to the concrete pool structure, there is a ‘no-fuss’ mentality reflected in the details and execution of both the landscaping and the cottage’s composition. On the one hand reflecting a simpler and less complicated existence, it is none-the-less detailed to reflect its purpose – a robust, welcoming, self-sufficient place to unwind.

The form references the primary pitched roof form of the shed and barn, though Wolveridge Architects has taken liberties from its core formal principles.

Acting as a removed destination, the structure is both a place of recreation, and one of retreat and reflection.

Wolveridge Architects brings a curiosity toward place to envision and fulfil the potential for the site. Hill Plains Cottage acts as an extension of its origin, while sitting lightly, stoutly and independently in its rural context.

Published 3 March, 2020
Photography  Nicole England
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