For years, no one was interested in buying this steep, undulating, and bushfire prone site in Lorne, Victoria — until Jack Everitt, director of Great Ocean Road Builders, came along.
With his building expertise and passion, Jack saw an opportunity to create the family home of his dreams at the point where the bush meets the sea.
‘With the help of Josh Crosbie Architects we conducted some due diligence and took on the challenge,’ says Jack.
Josh Crosbie Architects set out to create a site-responsive house that handled the steep block and the extreme bushfire risk.
The home was designed over four levels, allowing the house to cascade down the block, supported by bored pier footings that create minimal impact to the site foundations.
A modern ‘black box’ was the inspiration for the simple and robust external angular forms, with various external decks incorporated to connect with the landscape and provide indoor/outdoor living.
The main external cladding is noncombustible Colorbond matte black steel sheeting that provides good resistance to bushfire ember attack and blends into the bushy surrounds.
‘Internally we wanted to create lovely warmth by utilising blackbutt native hardwood linings,’ says architect Josh Crosbie.
‘We carefully placed each room and windows so that each space feels like it is perched up into the canopy of the eucalyptus gum trees.’
Jack’s main design request was for the living and kitchen domain to be the real heart of the home, where family and guests could all come together and enjoy their time.
There was also a high emphasis on capturing both the bush views, and the ocean to the south. A large feature upper clerestory window to the main living area was created to overcome this factor, capturing winter sun for passive solar gain.
Jack has been a carpenter since the age of 16, and a builder for the past eight years, and says his home has been the most challenging and rewarding project to date.
He credits the project’s success to the genuine collaboration with Josh Crosbie Architects.
‘This project was always going to be difficult to build, though it was definitely as difficult to design given the large list of constraints the block served up,’ Jack says.
‘I love coming home and feeling private and calm as I can look out to the ocean and the bush at the same time.’