A Timeless New Home In Ballarat, With Lake Views + Mid-Century Vibes

The clients of this Ballarat house called on Kennedy Nolan to design a mid-century inspired home with views across the adjacent lake. Unfortunately, given the site’s south-facing orientation, achieving this was easier said than done… but this wasn’t Kennedy Nolan’s first rodeo!

By elevating the main living area at the front of the home slightly, and planting greenery in the forefront, the architects ensured lake views are ever present, while removing passing cars and people from sight. Add some north-facing clerestory windows, and you have one seriously amazing home!

Amelia Barnes

Ballarat House by Kennedy Nolan. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Photo – Derek Swalwell

Internal courtyard views. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Hoffman Dining chairs from Thonet. Atticus dining table from Andrew Lowe. Custom pendant light designed by Kennedy Nolan. Anchor Ceramics planters. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Sesann lounge by Tacchini from StylecraftSledge chair by Autoban for De La Espada, Cove coffee table by JardanModa Piera floor lamp, Paintings by Cameron Gill, Laurel Side table by De La Espada from Criteria Collection.  Photo – Derek Swalwell

The room with the lake view! Sesann lounge by Tacchini from StylecraftSledge chair by Autoban for De La Espada, Cove coffee table by JardanModa Piera floor lamp. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Zuster timber console with Valerie Restarick ceramics. Caroline Denervaud artwork from Otomys to the left. Sledge chair by Autoban for De La Espada in the living room beyond. Photo – Derek Swalwell

 Sledge chair by Autoban for De La Espada. in the living room. Simone Karras ceramic vessel from PepitePhoto – Derek Swalwell

The internal courtyard can be also seen from the kitchen/living domain. Photo – Derek Swalwell

The beautiful pool! Photo – Derek Swalwell

Roda harp outdoor chair from Domo Furniture. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Photos of this home were taken just eight months after completion, but significant vines are already growing across the property’s walls. Photo – Derek Swalwell

Amelia Barnes
6th of April 2021

When you buy a property next to a lake, framing water views seems like the natural design response. However, when the view is located in the opposite direction of the sun, a design dilemma ensues. 

Kennedy Nolan architects were faced with this predicament in a recent Ballarat project, calling for a masterful design response. Their solution – raise the home’s facade up a half-step to take advantage of the lake, while adding in north-facing clerestory windows throughout. These windows ensure ample natural light (important for navigating Ballarat’s cold winters), while the elevation facilitates lake views and privacy away from the adjacent busy road. 

Another key challenge was to give this brand new home a mid-century feel – almost impossible in a new build! Kennedy Nolan managed to achieve this in collaboration with their client, and builder Spence Construction

‘The client liked American looking ‘Brady Bunch’ style houses…. They also liked a subtropical vibe, which isn’t really appropriate for Ballarat,’ says Patrick Kennedy, co-founding director and principal at Kennedy Nolan. ‘In the end, we settled on a design with nostalgic elements to it with the stone and classic modernist feel, while managing proximity to the lake.’

‘They didn’t want anything ostentatious – they wanted something much more low-key – so it’s designed to fall back into the landscape over time,’ Patrick says.  

Photos of this home were taken just eight months after completion, but lush vines and foliage can already be seen stretching across the property’s walls. ‘Everything was designed to establish pretty quickly, but also to grow over time,’ Patrick says. ‘There’s some big trees that will come up over the next 20 years.’

In the decades to come, the home’s natural materials will gracefully age and patina, walls will be engulfed in vines, and tree canopies will join in a green dome. A truly timeless home, destined to age gracefully!

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