Springhill House by Lovell Burton Architecture - A Tree-Change With Purpose
Macedon Ranges, VIC, Australia
One of the greatest skills an architect can offer to their community is their ability to facilitate the meaningful connection between inhabitants and their environment. As we observe a cultural shift from mass-consumption and excess to a demand for highly functional minimalism, it is eminent that architects use their expertise in an especially distinct way.
When inner-city clients, an author and an artistic director, envisioned their unique tree-change, they had ideas of not only building a home but developing a relationship with the land. They worked in close collaboration with Lovell Burton Architecture to create Springhill House, a utilitarian country home that is tailored to their ideal lifestyle, both now and for the future.
Springhill House sits humbly amongst grassy knolls on a triangle-shaped block in the Macedon Ranges. The first appearance of the single level structure from a distance is unassuming and prescribes to the local vernacular of the region. Its form and material are informed by the typical open-sided hay sheds of rural Australia and channel the rugged surroundings of vast farmland.
As you get closer to the home, it is possible to begin to notice the unexpected composition of the exterior cladding and its interaction with the surrounding environment. Galvanized steel panels that absorb and mirror the palette of the landscape appear to fade behind the defined angles of Glulam timber framework.
The potential for this site is hard to overlook, with a slightly sloping topography that boasts two existing dams and a spring in the northern corner, additionally a granite outcrop situated nearby the footprint of the house that provides sound obstruction to the property.
The home itself weaves into a larger plan for revitalising the underutilised block of land, thereby establishing a connection not just to the structure but the land that supports it. Fostering a union of person and place that helps to better understand the emotional and phycological influences it can have on overall wellbeing.
Springhill House by Lovell Burton Architecture is a utilitarian country home that is tailored to their ideal lifestyle, both now and for the future.
Similar to its exterior, the internal finishes comprise of just a few selected elements. Naturally stained birch ply that seamlessly occupies the walls and ceilings is accompanied by brushed concrete floors, steel benchtops and a splash of tiling in the bathroom. A carefully curated collection of art, furniture and fittings are allowed to stand alone in their own merit because of the uncluttered setting that invites recognition to every individual piece.
Lovell Burton Architecture adopt a spatial planning strategy for this project that is practical and purpose-driven. Using a grid that is dictated by the pre-cut dimensions of the materials to ensure minimal wastage and ergonomic proportioning to the human scale. Lovell Burton describe this quite simply as, “no element of the building extends beyond its purpose.”
Two work spaces are positioned at the southern side of the home, separated by the bathroom and laundry. Leaving the open living spaces to soak up the northern sunlight. The master bedroom looks eastward to catch the sunrise over the expansive paddocks, and there is another flexible living space on the opposite side of the home that can be transformed into a second bedroom. Overall the floorplan is modest, but thoughtfully constructed to provide all necessities the couple require.
Lovell Burton Architecture’s deliberate and refined approach to this design displays a comprehensive appreciation for their client’s goals. Resulting in a home that represents their past, understands their present and supports their future as they grow with the property.