Hardwood House in Daylesford was designed to be both a dwelling, as well as boutique short-term accommodation. Conceived by Melbourne architect Adam Kane for his parents, Barry Ludlow and Renata Kane, this home expertly balances an old world aesthetic with a cool, contemporary feel.
Adam worked with Barry to create a contemporary home inspired by the warm, textured timber chalets of alpine Europe. With an open, flexible floorplan, the property was designed to be used both as a single house, or as two independent private rentals with separate entrances.
Externally, the building was designed as two separate timber-clad forms, with distinctive pitched roofs to reference the historic cottages common in this area. Inside, these raked ceilings create a sense of drama and volume. Locally sourced timber floor, wall and ceiling linings adds texture, creating moody, emotive interior spaces.
For Adam, one of the biggest constraints with this project was the relatively small scale of the property. ‘It’s a modest sized site, so we needed to ensure it didn’t feel like all the walls were built on the boundaries’ he explains. Given this limitation, he’s particularly proud to have created a home where all of the windows frame very specific views of the garden, ensuring a strong connection to the outdoors, and a feeling of seclusion and sanctuary.
From initial concept to completion, this project was very much a family affair, with Adam’s parents as both clients and co-designers! ‘Having done a few smaller projects with my parents it was rewarding to work so collaboratively with them on a project of this scale’ Adam says. ‘Throughout the design process we’d constantly be calling each other and emailing through ideas; and catching up for dinner, we’d be quick to move the plates aside and start drawing.’ Having a design/construction backgrounds themselves, Barry and Renata also took on a lot of the construction work, furniture and cabinetry design, and landscaping / planting themselves.
With its gabled roofs, textured finishes and traditional feel, this home is entirely appropriate for its regional setting, whilst also offering a bold, stark contrast to its surrounding neighbours. ‘The building is somewhat of a contemporary version of the historic miner’s cottages of the area’ Renata explains. ‘We’ve taken the rustic features, and developed them in a modern context.’