A Contemporary Country Home, Set Into The Hillside

Located on private grounds within a picturesque regional golf club, the Thornton Residence draws on the surrounding landscape for inspiration – with a muted colour palette inspired early 20th-century Australian artist Hans Heysen!

Mardi Doherty of Doherty Design Studio takes us on the tour of this contemporary country home, created in collaboration with Detail 9 Architects.

Lucy Feagins

The spectacular Thornton Residence by Doherty Design Studio and Detail 9 Architects in regional Victoria. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A window seat overlooks the landscape. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The expansive kitchen. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Now THAT’S a living room! The house has been inspired by the muted colour palette of Australian landscape artist Hans Heyson. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Mardi highlights, ‘the jagged [crazy pavers] edge is seamlessly integrated into the blackbutt timber flooring at the entrance of the living zone, and repeated in the front of the fire.’ Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Views out to the landscape. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Dreamy neutral tiling tones in the bathroom! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Brass tapware features. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

How good are those concrete sinks! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A corner of the bedroom. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Cool tones for this feature wall. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The Thornton Residence is set spectacularly into a hill overlooking the landscape. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Surrounding bushland. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Lucy Feagins
30th of April 2019

Mardi Doherty of Doherty Design Studio explains that the design of this collaborative project with Detail 9 Architects was inspired by a group visit to the Thornton site in regional Victoria. The home is located on private grounds of a prestigious Thornton golf course, and before commencing the project, the architect, interior designer, landscape designer (Plant Agent), builder (Hedger Construction), and clients met on the ‘freshly excavated site.’ The group discussed the ‘strength yet gentleness of the surrounding hills, and how this should be reflected in the design, materials and plant selections.’

The landscape inspired the design of a single-level four-bedroom home that is cut into the hillside. The home is constructed in three separate pavilions, connected by glass link-ways that provide views and connection to the bushy surrounds. The centre of the home is the gabled-roof pavilion in dark grey steel, which is divided into an entrance area; powder room, laundry and storage space; and kitchen dining and living areas.

Two adjacent flat-roofed pavilions are constructed from cement blockwork, and are mirrors of each other in design, housing two bedrooms, separated by a bathroom. Mardi explains that despite the echoed form of the spaces ‘they each provide a unique experience, due to their different orientation and views.’

The interiors are similarly inspired by the landscape, with a palette that ‘reflects those used by artist Hans Heysen in his paintings of monumental Australian gum trees; pale blues, bone and pale terracottas.’ The detailing here is meticulous yet deceptively simple, using matt, gloss, colour, texture and graphic lines to create a contemporary country aesthetic.

The link between the grand outdoors and warm interior is emphasised through the use of crazy pavers used in the powder room and entrance foyer. Mardi highlights ‘the jagged edge is seamlessly integrated into the blackbutt timber flooring at the entrance of the living zone, and repeated in the front of the fire.’ Walking between the pavilions through glass passages, and out onto the large curved deck, you experience a peaceful bush retreat that is at once cosy and expansive.

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