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A Monolithic Home To Match Its Sublime Location

Architecture

The Elemental House by SSD Studio is a contemporary farmhouse in the Dooralong Valley of New South Wales.

Perched atop a hillside on a 20-acre property, the geometric form utilises a pared back material palette of stone, timber, concrete and glass to connect with its sublime surrounds. With its grand scale and proportions, the house presents a dialogue between architecture and towering landscape.

An absolute feat!

13th August, 2021

Ample outdoor space fit for entertaining! Photo – Yasmin Mund.

Enormous windows flood the space with light. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

The timber ceiling slats were made from trees grow, harveseted and milled on the property by Michael. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

Panoramic glass allows the scenery to envelope the house. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

The simple material palette of timber, concrete and glass frames the sublime valley views surrounding the house. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

A large fireplace anchors the open-plan living space. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

Michael built the house himself over three years. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

The mezzanine level overlooks the main communal living areas. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

Belynda’s paintings bring light and softness to the hard, raw material palette. Photo – Yasmin Mund.

Double doors open the main bedroom to the pool! Photo – Yasmin Mund.

Sasha Gattermayr
Friday 13th August 2021

The Elemental House by SSD Studio is exactly that. Made from natural materials and nestled in a hillside of the Dooralong Valley on the NSW Central Coast, it is at once made from and dissolving into the elements around it. It’s exactly the way owners, Michael Heuchan and artist Belynda Henry envisioned it.

‘This house is something I have been designing in my head for many years,’ says Michael, who has a background in construction. ‘It was always my dream to create a home that showcased the raw elements that surround us from day to day. A home that invited the surrounding light and environment in.’

Michael built the whole house himself over three years, with the help of retired builder Greg Allen. Inspired by the materials-focussed architecture of Shaun Lockyer, a restricted material palette helped to connect the building’s many large spaces.

Expansive windows integrate the surrounding views into the architecture, and that epic scenery is enhanced by the sweeping volumes of the rooms. This panoramic glazing creates a floating effect in the living spaces, especially the mezzanine level!

‘Scale and height were important,’ says Belynda of the final design. ‘It’s brutalist and modern, yet grand enough to sit among the tall gumtrees that surround the building.’

To create a home of this scale, that would still complement and not compete with surrounding landscape, stone, timber and concrete became the key pillars of the building palette. The ceiling is made from trees grown, harvested and hand-milled by Michael into slats, while the natural grey and subtle texture of off-form concrete anchors the rest of the home. Colour, texture and Belynda’s stunning paintings soften the monolithic materiality.

The result is a grand, architectural home,  that sits comfortably within the sublime valley, towering trees and expansive views that envelope it. A dream!

The Elemental House by SSD Studio will be for sale soon. Please contact Scott Wall at Stone Real Estate in Wyong for more information.

See more projects by SSD Studio here.

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