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A Country Cottage That Makes A Real Splash

Sustainable Homes

The pool holds a special place in the Australian psyche. In 2016, the Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale was flooded with chlorinated water, as the Aussie swimming pool was translated to an Italian setting – stirring up strong nostalgia for childhood summers with lemonade icy-poles, peeling sunburns and family gatherings.

This joyful summer energy is also captured in the Hill Plains Cottage Pool House by Wolveridge Architects. Combining guest quarters and a natural swimming pool, this is the personal project of architect and firm-director Jerry Wolveridge, located in the Macedon Ranges, Central Victoria.

5th November, 2018

The Hill Plains Cottage Pool House by Wolveridge Architects. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The project combines guest quarters and a natural swimming pool. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The pool utilises water from a natural spring. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The retreat is located on the property of Jerry Wolveridge of Wolveridge Architects. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

It offers vistas of the beautiful surrounds and the Heathcote Ranges. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Inside the single-bedroom cottage. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The accommodation is 50-square-metres. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Though modest in size, it’s big on design innovations. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The retreat runs off-the-grid. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The design was informed by the elongated simplicity of Victorian agricultural buildings. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The retreat is located in Central Victoria’s Macedon Ranges. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Clean and understated. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The pared-back though comforting aesthetic carries through to the design of the pool. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

This project is backed up by an impressive sustainability ethos. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A mini eco-retreat of dreams! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Lucy Feagins
Monday 5th November 2018

‘… a retreat for those who want to find their own space.’ – Jerry Wolveridge, Wolveridge Architects.

The Hills Plains Cottage Pool House is a guest quarters and natural swimming pool on the property of Jerry Wolveridge, whose family home sits on the same Macedon Ranges hillside. The accommodation is a 50-square-metre single-bedroom cottage, which like Jerry’s home, operates off-the-grid. This mini eco-retreat also offers a natural springs pool, used by family and guests alike on balmy days.

The design of the cottage and pool was chiefly informed by the environmental setting of the project, as Jerry explains the intention to ‘provide protection from the sometime windy conditions, a sense of seclusion for guests and the opening up of a new view-line towards the Heathcote ranges’. The Hill Plains house on the property was informed by the elongated simplicity of Victorian agricultural buildings, and this clean and understated aesthetic is carried through in the design of the cottage and pool.

Jerry highlights that this new addition to the property has ‘become a social hub for our family on warm days, and a retreat for those who want to find their own space’. The design allows for both communal time around the pool, and a private retreat in the self contained single-bedroom cottage, where ‘a sense of separation and privacy is enabled between buildings old and new,’ he explains.

The beauty of this project is matched by its impressive sustainability ethos. Solar panels and backup batteries keep the cottage running, with the cosy addition of a slow combustion wood fire in winter. Book yourself in for a stay, and a splash at Hill Plains Cottage.

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net