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A Striking Sustainable Family Home In Flinders

Sustainable Homes

Sustainability was front of mind when it came to the design of this family home on the Mornington Peninsula.

Tucked away in the costal town of Flinders, Cypress House was a collaboration between owner-builder Matt Westle of Loreco Constructions and Dave Brodziak, director of Insider Outsider.

Wrapped in reclaimed cypress cladding, the private property is just as striking inside, with warm and sustainably sourced timber throughout – and it holds an impressive 7.5-star NatHERS rating!

14th June, 2022

The striking Cypress House sits along the coastal towns of the Mornington Peninsula. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

Its geometric facade is made from reclaimed cypress timber. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

There’s also a swimming pool and a courtyard, primed for entertaining. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

Perfectly coastal interiors are complemented with a lush green spaces outdoors. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

The warm all-timber dining room and table! Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

A Chiminees Phillippe fireplace. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

The kitchen forms the heart of the home. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

Full-height cupboards are hidden in the walls. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

A quiet bench seat. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

The bathrooms feature spotted gum vanities. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

The home is protected from the elements with a passive design. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

Wide windows help the sun stream through in winter. Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

The expansive facade! Photo – Willem-Dirk du Toit. Styling – Kim Kneipp

Christina Karras
Tuesday 14th June 2022

Cypress House proves you don’t have to compromise on design when it comes to sustainability.

Jeni and Matt Westle of Loreco Constructions had spent three years searching for the perfect place to build their family home when they finally came across an empty block of land in Flinders. They enlisted the help of Insider Outsider director Dave Brodziak and set about establishing a new, but considered, property on the 1104sq m block.

The resulting 7.5-star NatHERS rating residence is a testament to their commitment to environmentally conscious builds and Dave’s vision for a ‘layered coastal house and a secluded suburban retreat’.

‘A shared love of working with timber informed a large part of the discussion around materiality, and the opportunity to use a broad range of sustainably sourced timbers fed back into the design of both interior and exterior spaces,’ Dave says.

‘It took Matt a lot of time to research and source the right materials, but he feels the extra pressure was worth it.’

Reclaimed cypress timber is the hero of the home’s geometric facade, designed to complement its quiet, coastal surrounds. Other wood materials like blackbutt cladding and spotted gum floors are combined with recycled bricks and tonal surfaces for a calming atmosphere inside. It’s a harmonious blend of old and new, finished with built-in nooks, cabinetry and soft lantern lighting.

But one of the most important considerations for the build was ensuring it responded to ‘the fall of the land’. Its passive solar design northern orientation and eaves were specifically designed to direct sunlight in throughout winter and prevent it during summer – decreasing the need to use artificial cooling and heating and energy consumption.

‘On cooler nights, light the Chiminees Phillippe fireplace, and once roaring it heats the surrounding recycled brick generating thermal mass keeping the home warm longer,’ Dave adds. There’s also a 10,000-litre water tank connected to irrigation system, a 12kw solar battery and an outdoor entertaining area in the private courtyard, just beyond the property’s sliding doors.

Matt and Jeni have recently sold the home, but say they are already eagerly working on their next sustainable projects.

‘As the world transition towards a sustainable future, we see our industry capable of huge positive change by shifting to more sustainable practices,’ Matt notes.

See more of Loreco Constructions work here, and view projects by Insider Outsider 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