Embracing the prominent established walnut tree at the front of the site, Walnut House is a homage to and expression of the natural world. Adam Kane Architects has designed a structure with directing sightlines to the surrounding lush landscape, including the botanic gardens abutting the rear of the site.
Nestled within the rural enclave of Daylesford, Walnut House is imagined as an idyllic escape from the city. Perfect for weekend retreats, the resulting dwelling is infused with an ingrained sense of calm through a considered restraint in all its elements. From ascending the front steps on approach to passing through the oversized, frameless glass pivot front door, there is a feeling of transportation – a portal to another place of enrapturing stillness and tranquillity.
Symmetry binds the home, reinforcing a considered balance on the main level. The custom-stained silvertop ash timber exterior wraps itself around the walnut tree and, as a result, articulates Walnut House’s responding floorplan. Perched on a concrete plinth, two gabled forms provide separate zones, one for living and dining and another for bedrooms – two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The weighted base ensures a solid connection to the site while creating an element of journey and discovery through its elevation above ground level. The dwelling’s garage is tucked neatly under the retreat zone, concealed behind a concrete-treated façade.
As a play on scale, the invisible link between the gable forms compresses the entry experience. The use of a transparent materiality assists in framing the views to the front and rear, while the height of the vaulted ceilings lifts the eye upward. Both living and bedroom wings open up generously, welcoming an engagement with the architecture. The rear living area embraces its north-facing aspect, as full-height and minimally trimmed glazing reminds occupants of their immersion within the site’s unique rural setting.
Polished concrete floors with underfloor heating and extensive use of walnut veneer joinery are the backdrop to minimal furnishings. Distinctively, Walnut House features a dining table, floating bed and bench seat, all in solid walnut, designed and made by Tasmania’s Simon Ancher Studio. The interior spaces also include The Wonder Sofa by GUBI, Crown Armchairs by Mass Productions from District and a selection of rugs by Armadillo & Co.
Drawing on contextual cues, Walnut House combines an expressed warmth through its core materiality and tone, offering an aptly fitting response to site. As a contemporary take on a traditional rural structure, Adam Kane Architects has created a balanced design, emphasising a calming and tranquil ambiance.