The design of Fish Creek House by Edition Office was entirely driven by its site. The exposed South Gippsland block offered captivating views across the countryside, but with these came heavy exposure to the harsh winds of the southern coastline. ‘On calm days, walking across the bare original site was bliss, though when the winds blew, it was uninhabitable,’ says Kim Bridgland, Edition Office director.
This conflict informed the design response: a house pulled apart into three linked pavilions, each drawing back from the next to allow a connection to the northern sun.
A textured brick wall wraps around the pavilions, sheltering the home from the ferocious winds and creating a series of protected courtyards in the spaces between.
Low-cost recycled bricks form a robust, heavily textured mortar exterior pattern that catches and shapes the shadow of the sun as it passes across the surface. ‘The light and shadow that play across the textured surface of the enveloping brick walls are almost performative in nature as they shift across the house, expressing the shifting ephemerality of the Australian landscape,’ says Kim.
By stretching the home across three pavilions, the clients are also able to ‘shrink’ the interiors when they are its only occupants, and expand when their family are visiting. Each pavilion is faceted on its northern face, angled to face the sun.
Integrated into the property are several sustainable design features. ‘Rather than being seen as compromises, the design was enabled and driven by these sustainable principles.’ says Kim.
60,000 litres of rainwater is caught and stored on site to supply the house; all waste is treated on-site with a worm farm composting treatment system; and a 7kW solar PV system is installed on the roof.
Edition Office have created a home that acts as a mediator for the landscape, while offering a deep connection to place.