A Modernist Response to Site - Moat’s Corner House by Vibe Design Group
Mornington Peninsula, VIC, Australia
Born from modernist principles, Moat’s Corner House is about connection to the landscape and the site’s past. Vibe Design Group propose a home that bridges the functional and observational.
Set on a site defined by complex layers of landscape, garden, and coastal geography on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Moat’s Corner House pays homage to its past, its previous custodians and their use of the land. The story of the now-established setting began with a pioneering family, after whom the home is now named. Their mark on the land is symbolised by the cypress trees that line the driveway, a horticultural intervention which was followed by a further seventy years of cultivation by other successive gardeners, resulting in a wide array of plants found across a five-acre portion of the land. The priority for Vibe Design Group was to capture this sense of history, while taking a future-focused approach to providing a home for the current owners.
In collaboration with landscape designer Paul Bangay, and Colin Hyett Design, who contributed the succulent garden, the architecture’s inherent integration with and connection to site was key. The elevated main form of the home acts as an observation gallery of the immediate gardens and offers an engagement with them. The design of the home is centred about the virtues of co-existing with the garden, while the references to modernist design are felt in large-spanning openings that encourage this engagement. Opportunities exist in multiples for these connections throughout. Purposefully, each of the internal spaces has a connection to what lies outside – there is no distinction or hierarchy between zones and their connection to the garden beyond.
Moat’s Corner House pays homage to its past, its previous custodians and their use of the land.
Sitting across the site with a sense of grandeur, Moat’s Corner offers a clean, unified approach to the built form that seems to hover across the landscape, propped up in areas in response to the terrain. The northern span of the home houses the main living room zone and is accompanied by the master wing. This grand span stands uninterrupted, apart from a sliding glass door opening, expressing the most open front. The western wall, however, is more grounded, with a sense of weight that creates an atmosphere of protection. Its insulated black panels act as weather protection, interacting with the adjacent gardens.
Built by Icon Synergy, the external and internal materiality speak to a robust contemporary design language. With a form that optimises its views, Moat’s Corner encourages engagement with its landscape, thus paying respect to its context. Each of the internal spaces and the elements of everyday engagement all speak to an honesty of materiality, expressing structural form with minimal ornamentation. The kitchen by Poliform Australia is a testament to the engagement of beautifully honed and skilled craftsmanship.
Moat’s Corner speaks to a sense of place, while referencing a contemporary and clean, low-maintenance aesthetic. The adoption of modernist principles by Vibe Design Group enhances the engagement with the context and climate and allows for a full immersion into the site and it’s richly layered past.