Written by Sheridan O'Leary
When the clients first approached drw studio and Heartly, they had a singular vision in mind, a small holiday retreat that would enable them to completely immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring beauty of the surrounding landscape while providing the utmost comfort and functionality.
Drw studio and Heartly were presented with a thrilling opportunity when the client approached them with a brief for a small holiday home. The challenge was to design a two-bedroom house within a 36 square meter footprint that would take full advantage of the site's elevated position and awe-inspiring ocean views. However, navigating through the planning controls, waste treatment, soil instability, and the potential threat of bushfires posed additional complexities. Despite these challenges, drw studio and Heartly remained undeterred, leveraging their extensive expertise and creativity to produce a design that not only met the client's brief but exceeded their expectations.
As you approach the house, you are greeted by a steel mesh bridge that spans the steep incline of the site, creating an exciting entry point that immediately immerses you in the lush canopy of the trees. Once inside, it's hard not to be impressed by the sense of space and light that permeates every inch of the living level. The open-plan layout allows for a seamless flow between the kitchen, dining, and living areas, with clever built-in furniture providing ample storage space without compromising on functionality.
The lower level of the Wye River House is a masterpiece of thoughtful design that capitalises on the breathtaking views and stunning surroundings. As you descend the small passageway, you're greeted by two charming bedrooms. The bunkroom, crafted with children in mind, is a cozy space for rest and play. Meanwhile, the larger bedroom for the parents is a true haven, featuring glass doors that open onto a narrow balcony, inviting you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the landscape.
The carefully curated palette of natural materials, including birch ply and blackened ply, blend harmoniously with the surroundings, creating a tranquil and serene atmosphere. The glass door from the passage leads to a narrow staircase, inviting you to venture down to the garden, a space that is just as breathtaking as the interior. With every detail thoughtfully considered, the lower level of the Wye River House is a peaceful haven, perfect for relaxing and taking in the natural beauty.
But what truly sets the Wye River House apart is its unique form and external materials. Born out of planning restrictions and the need for non-combustible materials, responding to the threat of bushfires, the external structure is made of steel and cement sheeting, with a simple and recessive palette that blends perfectly with the area's natural surrounds. The result is a structure that is both striking and understated, perfectly encapsulating the spirit of the Wye River region.
Wye River House is a testament to what can be achieved with innovative design and a deep respect for the environment. It's a space that seamlessly integrates into the surrounding landscape, creating a harmonious and tranquil retreat for the family to escape to. With its breathtaking views, clever use of space, and striking external design, it's no wonder that the Wye River House has quickly become a beloved gem of the Victoria coastline.
Designer: drw studio
Builder: Parallel Construction and Joe Built
Photographer: Nathan Davis
Heartly are currently looking for an Interior Designer or Junior Interior Designer on CO-architecture. View job details here: CLICK HERE