Sustainable Homes

A Whole World, All Under One Roof

Hold onto your hats, this is no ordinary architectural home!

The Longhouse in Daylesford is a 110m metre long shed, with an entire world inside. Designed by Partners Hill to have its own microclimate, the shed is a ‘container for living, learning and entertaining, as well as nurturing animals and fresh produce.’ 

The Longhouse by Partners Hill is a home like no other! We talk to architect Timothy Hill about this incredible feat. 

Lucy Feagins
Supports The Design Files

Welcome to the Longhouse in Daylesford by Partners Hill, and built by Nick Andrews Constructions. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

A peek-a-boo view through to the rolling landscape. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Living inside a greenhouse. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Cypress Pine is used throughout, for its resistance rot in this microclimate. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Left: Photo – Rory Gardiner. Right: Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Blush pinks in the guesthouse. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

A whole world, in a huge barn! Photo – Shantanu Starick.

The plush interiors in the guesthouse. We’ve never seen a barn like this. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Celestial sky blue in the owner’s lodge. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

The Longhouse offers cooking classes, using locally grown produce. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

A kitchen corner. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

A cosy sleeping nook. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

We cannot get over this bathroom. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Unexpected tiling details! Photo – Shantanu Starick.

The blue tones in the lodge convey a feeling of a cloudless sky. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Details from The Lodge. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Warm light through the UV skin of the shed. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

In a difficult landscape, this shed presents an innovative solution. Photo – Shantanu Starick.

A shed with a view! Photo – Shantanu Starick.

Lucy Feagins
27th of August 2019

It isn’t often that you open a shed door and happen upon an entire living, working, storage and making enterprise – all within an architect-designed microclimate. But enter the western edge of the Longhouse in Daylesford, and – once you have moved past tractors and farm machinery – you open out into what architect Timothy Hill describes as a ‘surprisingly lush haven.’ 

The project started when Ronnen Goren and Trace Streeter purchased a 20-acre parcel of land that overlooks Daylesford, Hepburn Springs and Mount Franklin. Despite the sweeping views and beauty of the site, the environment proved difficult to manage. Extreme weather variations, strong winds, lack of water and ravenous local wildlife (!) meant that the couple’s vision for a site of food, family, and design was placed under threat. 

Ronnen approached friend of 30-years architect Timothy Hill, to find a way to make the hostile environment into a site that supported their ambitious plans. Keen for a challenge, Timothy designed a 110m long shed, with internalised agricultural, hospitality and residential functions all housed under one (incredibly long) roof. 

The Longhouse places a contemporary spin on Palladian style architecture, where all functions are housed within a single symmetrical building. In this modern reimagining, visitors move past the tractors, and the building opens out to a central kitchen and cooking school, a reception area, planting beds, The Lodge (the owner’s residence) and The Stableman’s Quarters (guest house nestled in a mezzanine pod). Timothy explains that this historic model ‘emphasises how much – or how little – you need for a few people to survive and thrive. A handful of animals, enough water and year-round crops.’ 

In order for this protective sanctuary to work, Timothy transformed the elongated shed into a microclimate, that provides an environment that is ‘mellow and calming whatever the weather.’  The passive house design ensures thermal stability, below the translucent glass-reinforced polyester skin of the shed. Incredibly, the 1050sqm roof harvests rainwater, which allows the garden to grow, with ample left over for bushfire defence. 

This giant greenhouse is designed as an unbelievably impressive engineering feat – and the interiors well-and-truly keep up their end of the deal! The materials are practical and robust, with resilient Australian Cypress Pine used for barn doors, walls, surfaces, planers, seating and decking. Timothy also designed the living zones according to colour theory – celeste (sky blue) for The Lodge and blush tones for The Stableman’s Quarters ‘so even in the depths of cold, grey winters – there is an uplifting sense of blue skies and long sunsets every day.’ Like permanently living in a James Turrell artwork!  

This overview barely scratches the (100m long) surface of this all-encompassing property. We haven’t even covered the space-age orange grouted bathroom, slip glazed clay bricks, or the future plans to move off-grid with solar panelling and battery storage. But as Timothy explains, ‘the experience of the whole, is far greater than the sum of its parts.’  A whole world, under one roof. 

Project Collaborators

Architects and Interior Design: Partners Hill  
Passivehaus Consultant: Passive House
Builder: Nick Andrews Construction  
Shed: CV Sheds
Shed/Greenhouse Cladding: Ampelite

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