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The Greatest, Escapist Homes Of 2020!

Roundup

Is there anyone among us city-slickers who didn’t dream of making a sea-change or a tree-change this year? 2020 was definitely the year for coveting a beachside shack, or doom scrolling Google Images for secluded cabins surrounded by trees.

In the midst of lockdown earlier this year, looking at pictures of off-the-beaten-track places was the closest thing to actually being there. Luckily, images of dreamy architecture is our domain! From tent houses in the Noosa hinterland, to an architect’s own totally mobile bushland cabin, here are the far-flung homes that allowed us to escape our own four walls, even if it was just for a second. The sweet escape!

28th December, 2020

Casa Acton by Josh FitzGerald of Archier. Photo – Adam Gibson.

Casa Acton by Josh FitzGerald of Archier. Photo – Adam Gibson.

An Architect’s Own Hideaway, Buried In The Tasmanian Bushland

Casa Acton is the home of Archier‘s technical director Josh FitzGerald, which he built himself, by hand. Located in the Hobart suburb of Acton Park, this modest, cabin-like home made from locally sourced building materials is perfectly in sync with its bushy surrounds.

Revisit the original story here!

Cliff House by Auhaus Architecture. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Bek Sheppard.

Cliff House by Auhaus Architecture. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Bek Sheppard.

An Ocean-Side Sanctuary Designed To Age Gracefully

This grand beachside home in Ocean Grove represents a confluence of opposing factors. Located on a windswept sand dune overlooking the Barwon bluff on one side, and the Point Lonsdale lighthouse on the other, it is exposed to both the beauty and the intensity of such a rugged beachfront spot.

When designing Cliff House, Auhaus Architecture chose to reflect the rugged location in material expression, opting for raw and natural materials at every opportunity.

Revisit the original story here.

The ‘tent house’ in Noosa by Sparks Architects. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

The ‘tent house’ in Noosa by Sparks Architects. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

The ‘tent house’ in Noosa by Sparks Architects. Photo – Christopher Frederick Jones.

An Unconventional ‘Tent House’ In The Noosa Hinterland

This ‘tent house’ by Sparks Architects was inspired by the ultimate ‘gone bush’ activity: camping under the stars. The innovative design facilitates two distinct modes of living – one where the home’s roof and walls are wide open, and the other where the house functions as an insulated box.

Designing and building a tent-like residential structure is a huge and impressive undertaking – so much so that you actually might recognise it from Grand Designs Australia!

Revisit the original story here.

A family home in Red Hill, Victoria designed by InForm and Pleysier Perkins. Styling – Bek Sheppard. Photo – James Geer.

A family home in Red Hill, Victoria designed by InForm and Pleysier Perkins. Styling – Bek Sheppard. Photo – James Geer.

A Family Home That Mirrors Nature

Jane and Lloyd Fenn and their children Lillian, 11, Audrey, 10, and Eddie, 6, moved from Melbourne to the Mornington Peninsula with the hopes of better connecting to nature – something they’ve achieved in the design of their beautiful home.

Their family home in Red Hill, Victoria, has been designed in direct response to its sloping, bush block. But rather than flattening the site, the designers decided to lean into its existing conditions, developing a tiered floor plan that naturally distinguishes different areas of the home.  Designed and built by InForm in collaboration with Pleysier Perkins architects, the house is clad with locally-sourced rough sawn timber, and seamlessly blends into its natural surrounds.

Revisit the original story here.

Bluff House by Rob Kennon Architects. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Bluff House by Rob Kennon Architects. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

This Non-Conventional Holiday Home Is Mostly Underground

Bluff House is located in a landslip zone, meaning the majority of the structure had to be built into the foreshore rather than on top of it. By anchoring bedrooms underground with a cantilevered living domain above, Rob Kennon Architects have mastered this site’s challenging requirements, while maximising the views from an almost entirely subterranean position! Incredible!

Revisit the original story here.

The Two Sheds house by Roger Nelson of NH Architecture and DREAMER. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

The Two Sheds house by Roger Nelson of NH Architecture and DREAMER. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

The Two Sheds house by Roger Nelson of NH Architecture and DREAMER. Photo – Rory Gardiner.

This Lorne Home Is A Dream Collaboration Between Two Architects

On a bush block just outside Lorne, Victoria, lies the holiday home of architect Roger Nelson. In collaboration with DREAMER, the original plans for a sprawling 700sqm home were reduced to 220 square metres across two linked but distinct pavilions. Though technically belonging to Roger and his wife Jane, the house has been designed to cater for generations of children and grandkids alike to escape from the city to reconnect with one another and the outdoors.

Revisit the original story here.

The Wallis Lake House by Matthew Woodward Architecture. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The Wallis Lake House by Matthew Woodward Architecture. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The Wallis Lake House by Matthew Woodward Architecture. Photo – Brett Boardman.

The Wallis Lake House by Matthew Woodward Architecture. Photo – Brett Boardman.

A Breathtaking Lake House Completely Open To Its Natural Surrounds

Hold onto your hats, this one might just knock the wind out of you! Matthew Woodward Architecture were engaged to create a sturdy but experimental residence atop this windswept 25-acre property overlooking Wallis Lake on the north coast of New South Wales. The awe-inspiring result is a robust dwelling, crafted from rough and raw textures that will weather with time, and blends seamlessly into the rugged surrounds.

The north-facing house opens itself to the elements, utilising sliding glass doors on the lower levels and hydraulic levered timber screens on the upper floor to unfold the residence out onto the property. With bushland at the rear of the property and rolling, unimpeded views down to Lake Wallis, maximum connectivity to the natural surrounds was the central design concern. These are probably the most spectacular views we saw all year!

Revisit the original story here.

Coastal Luxe at St Andrews Beach on the Mornington Peninsula. Photo – Jarno Jussila.

Coastal Luxe at St Andrews Beach on the Mornington Peninsula. Photo – Jarno Jussila.

Coastal Luxe at St Andrews Beach on the Mornington Peninsula. Photo – Jarno Jussila.

A Modernist-Inspired Getaway On The Mornington Peninsula

St Andrews Beach is a seldom mentioned slice of Victoria’s Mornington Pensinsula. Wedged between Cape Schanck and Sorrento, the rugged coastline faces Bass Strait rather than the bayside views favoured by the more popular townships on the opposing side of the coastal strip.

Kerryn Nossal and her partner bought their plot of land in the St Andrews dunes in 2000, and proceeded to build the Coastal Luxe beach house over the next 15 years. Enter the property through a landscaped banksia forest and ascend the multi-level house all the way to the top where a the main bedroom suite sits like a nest in the treetops. You can even catch a glimpse of the expansive seaside vista through a 6.5-metre window that runs along the spine of the house. Who could want anything more?!

Revisit the original story here.

The home of Shelley + Tom Banders in South Gippsland. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The home of Shelley + Tom Banders in South Gippsland. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

The home of Shelley + Tom Banders in South Gippsland. Photo – Eve Wilson for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.

Living The Regional Dream In Strzelecki, South Gippsland!

The proverb ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’ is totally redundant in the case of Tom and Shelley Banders, whose idyllic country home is nestled in South Gippsland’s famed rolling hills where – literally and figuratively – the grass could not be any greener! The pair moved from Melbourne into their charming 1890s farmhouse with 10ft walls and have never looked back, establishing 70 lineal metres of veggie patches, a stone fruit orchard and citrus grove, with plans to establish coops for chickens and ducks. Shelley makes a strong case for taking the leap to the country:

‘Just go for it! We have never felt so grounded, connected and satisfied, ending our day with a glass of local wine, a bit of dirt under our nails and a belly full of real food. What are you waiting for?’

I honestly don’t know!

Revisit the original story here.

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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