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.