This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

A Mornington Peninsula Home That Goes Back To Basics

Architecture

The First Lessons House by emerging architectural firm Ray Dinh Architecture is a first principles home. As the initial project from the architect, Ray was eager to respond directly to the client’s brief in a meaningful way.

The top priorities for the property were to maximise the view to the Portsea Lagoon and Wildlife Reserve, and foster a communal and inviting home. In approaching the design from a back-to-basics perspective, the architects show that ‘first lessons’ are the most important lessons to master. A home where simplicity has produced a beautifully honest and engaging result.

4th December, 2018

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Photo – Peter Bennetts.

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 4th December 2018

The First Lessons House is the first project from architecture firm Ray Dinh Architecture. Like many architect’s first projects, the project came through family. Ray describes the brief for a ‘house that allows for as much outdoor space as possible, and opens up to the garden.’

The home sits among myrtle and tea-trees, and overlooks the Portsea Lagoon and Wildlife Reserve. With this stunning site to work with, Ray was intent on ‘getting the basics right’.  He aimed to design a home that would respond sensitively to its context, and be guided by the owners’ daily habits.

The outcome is an L-shaped house on a square block, that is designed to maximise tree canopy shade, northern sun and views to the lagoon. The two ‘arms’ of the home allow for both distance and connection, with the kids’ rumpus room at the opposite end to the parents’ bedrooms. Ray explains how this spatial design encourages ‘mischief and separation’ (!), as well as inviting the family into the outdoors, as the fastest route between the ends of the home is a ‘shortcut through the garden!’

Charred blackbutt, concrete, and corrugated iron were selected as ‘robust, earthy materials’, designed to be softened by the natural light and surrounding landscape. Material selection was also informed by the budget, where the ‘entire roof and back of the house is made of standard timber frame and corrugated cladding.’ Saving money here, meant the clients could invest in more extravagant features elsewhere, such as the oversized glass doors throughout the home, which maximise the view.

Ray illustrates the success of the home by recalling the ‘family Christmas dinner, 45 person sit down New Years dinner, and 12th birthday party’ that have all been hosted here since the clients moved in! With a brief that emphasised the importance of communal and shared space, it’s nice to know he’ll have ongoing opportunities return to this home and celebrate with his extended family in years to come!

This Week

Interiors

This Revamped Edwardian Home Has A Different Mood For Every Room

Interior Designer Georgina Jeffries delivers a classic yet contemporary makeover of a heritage home – where moments of delight are everywh...

In Print

A Rustic Shed Accommodation On The Victorian Surfcoast Hinterland

Lose yourself in the classic Lynda Gardener aesthetic with her new book 'Curate: Inspiration for an Individual Home' published by Hachette A...
Ali Heath

Architecture

A Malaysian-Inspired Adaptable House In Brisbane

'Three House' by architect John Ellway sees three pavilions brought together as one breathable, flexible home in Paddington.

Architecture

A Dessert-Inspired ‘60s Home Makeover!

From banana Paddle Pop yellow, to chocolatey timber, this 1960s home makeover by Wowowa brings colour and personality to this mid century ho...

Creative People

A Truly Magical Tapestry Collaboration Between Local Artists + Weavers

Works by Eugenia Lim, Atong Atem, Troy Emery and Hayley Millar Baker were recrafted as tapestries by weavers at the Australian Tapestry Work...

Art

The Secret Mystical Paintings of International Art Sensation, Hilma af Klint

The visionary Swedish artist’s enormous colourful artworks were hidden from the world for decades. Now, they are on show at Art Gallery of...

Creative People

Andalusian-Inspired Lampshades, Handwoven In Sydney

Lana Launay makes her textured light covers from natural materials such as coffee-stained raffia, coconut shell rope and bamboo yarn.

Food

Julia's Miso Salmon Bowl With Udon Noodles And Crunchy Greens

The onset of winter and lockdown in Victoria means we're back in comfort food mode – and this warm miso salmon bowl with crunchy greens h...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Shopping

The Aboriginal-Owned Homewares Brand Bringing First Nations Art To Homes + Classrooms Across Australia!

Bundjalung/Minjungbal woman Emma Rolls of Emro Designs shares her collection of rugs, cushions and soon-to-be-released picnic mats featuring...

Studio Visit

The Amazing Art-Making Of Thea Anamara Perkins

The Arrernte and Kalkadoon artist is renowned for her vivid, personal portraits of prominent First Nations figures. We talked to the accompl...

Stays

A Quaint + Charming Holiday Cottage That Feels Like Home

Lotte's Hjem is a 150-year-old weatherboard nestled in the heart of Pambula on the Sapphire Coast.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life of ‘Hamilton’ Star, Chloé Zuel

We go behind the scenes of the Australian production of the most famous musical in the world - with Eliza Hamilton herself!

Architecture

An Architect’s Reworking Of Sir Roy Grounds’ Former Balmain Home

A heritage 1970s house in Balmain once owned by Sir Roy Grounds has been its re-engineered by its present owner, architect Conrad Johnston o...

Homes

A Modern Family’s Treetop Rental Property

The heartwarming North Warrandyte rental of Tilly Barber, her six-year-old son Mars, and friends Albee Barton and Justyn Burrow.

Gardens

A Grandmother's Accessible, Flower-Filled Dream Garden!

Outdoor Establishments have turned a barren acreage in outer Sydney into an elderly client's dream garden featuring Eco Outdoor products.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

The Modern Australian Homestead

Explore the equine elegance of the Ceres Gable House, by Tecture Architecture.

Architecture

A 'Blank Canvas' House By The Beach

A stunning new home on the Mornington Peninsula, designed with the future in mind by Planned Living Architects.

Architecture

A New Lease On Life For A 1960s Holiday Home

A simple, spacious addition by MRTN Architects, that has reinvigorated a 1960s holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula.

This Week

Architecture

A Dessert-Inspired ‘60s Home Makeover!

From banana Paddle Pop yellow, to chocolatey timber, this 1960s home makeover by Wowowa brings colour and personality to this mid century ho...

Art

The Secret Mystical Paintings of International Art Sensation, Hilma af Klint

The visionary Swedish artist’s enormous colourful artworks were hidden from the world for decades. Now, they are on show at Art Gallery of...

Studio Visit

The Amazing Art-Making Of Thea Anamara Perkins

The Arrernte and Kalkadoon artist is renowned for her vivid, personal portraits of prominent First Nations figures. We talked to the accompl...

Gardens

A Grandmother's Accessible, Flower-Filled Dream Garden!

Outdoor Establishments have turned a barren acreage in outer Sydney into an elderly client's dream garden featuring Eco Outdoor products.

Creative People

Andalusian-Inspired Lampshades, Handwoven In Sydney

Lana Launay makes her textured light covers from natural materials such as coffee-stained raffia, coconut shell rope and bamboo yarn.

Stays

A Quaint + Charming Holiday Cottage That Feels Like Home

Lotte's Hjem is a 150-year-old weatherboard nestled in the heart of Pambula on the Sapphire Coast.

Architecture

A Malaysian-Inspired Adaptable House In Brisbane

'Three House' by architect John Ellway sees three pavilions brought together as one breathable, flexible home in Paddington.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life of ‘Hamilton’ Star, Chloé Zuel

We go behind the scenes of the Australian production of the most famous musical in the world - with Eliza Hamilton herself!

In Print

A Rustic Shed Accommodation On The Victorian Surfcoast Hinterland

Lose yourself in the classic Lynda Gardener aesthetic with her new book 'Curate: Inspiration for an Individual Home' published by Hachette A...
Ali Heath

Creative People

A Truly Magical Tapestry Collaboration Between Local Artists + Weavers

Works by Eugenia Lim, Atong Atem, Troy Emery and Hayley Millar Baker were recrafted as tapestries by weavers at the Australian Tapestry Work...

Architecture

An Architect’s Reworking Of Sir Roy Grounds’ Former Balmain Home

A heritage 1970s house in Balmain once owned by Sir Roy Grounds has been its re-engineered by its present owner, architect Conrad Johnston o...

Food

Julia's Miso Salmon Bowl With Udon Noodles And Crunchy Greens

The onset of winter and lockdown in Victoria means we're back in comfort food mode – and this warm miso salmon bowl with crunchy greens h...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura

Homes

A Modern Family’s Treetop Rental Property

The heartwarming North Warrandyte rental of Tilly Barber, her six-year-old son Mars, and friends Albee Barton and Justyn Burrow.

Interiors

This Revamped Edwardian Home Has A Different Mood For Every Room

Interior Designer Georgina Jeffries delivers a classic yet contemporary makeover of a heritage home – where moments of delight are everywh...

Shopping

The Aboriginal-Owned Homewares Brand Bringing First Nations Art To Homes + Classrooms Across Australia!

Bundjalung/Minjungbal woman Emma Rolls of Emro Designs shares her collection of rugs, cushions and soon-to-be-released picnic mats featuring...

Similar Stories

Architecture

The Modern Australian Homestead

Explore the equine elegance of the Ceres Gable House.

Architecture

A 'Blank Canvas' House By The Beach

A stunning new home on the Mornington Peninsula, by Planned Living Architects.

Architecture

A New Lease On Life For A 1960s Holiday Home

A simple, spacious addition by MRTN Architects, that has reinvigorated a 1960s holiday home on the Mornington Peninsula.

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.