Perched atop a picturesque hill in Victoria’s Yarra Valley, approximately an hour’s drive from Melbourne, The Gruyere Farmhouse crafted by Rachcoff Vella Architects commands attention.
Seeking to harmonize the dwelling with its natural surroundings, the Rachcoff Vella team enlisted the expertise of Kett Furniture for furnishing. The Gruyere venture exemplifies the harmonious blend of design and nature, establishing a distinctively Australian design aesthetic.
Originating from a detailed brief provided by clients intimately acquainted with the site, having spent holidays in a self-contained cabin on the property, The Gruyere Farmhouse project took shape. Drawing inspiration from the locale, it was crucial for the architecture to mirror this connection, emphasizing diverse views of the landscape throughout the residence.
Inspired by the encompassing landscape, the design underscored a robust link to the ever-present Yarra Ranges. The undulating and gracefully pitched roof forms, directly mirroring the silhouette of the northern mountain range, initiated a significant conversation with the natural context on both a detailed and panoramic level.
The home’s interior offers three spectacular perspectives, with one capturing the skyline of Melbourne to the West, another revealing the Yarra Ranges to the north from the living room, and a morning panorama over the Warramate Ranges from the master bedroom. The expansive floor-to-ceiling windows serve as a frame to the external environment, strengthening the connection to the land. It was only fitting that the home’s interior elements embraced natural materials and raw finishes, paying homage to the awe-inspiring surroundings.
Opting for a rhythmic board, the kitchen takes center stage as a modern farmhouse-like backdrop in the expansive living space. The extensive timber panels, used in the kitchen, seamlessly continue through the flooring, carrying this natural element across the entire home. Exposed bricks come into play, forming a fireplace and entertainment structure, introducing an additional layer of linear texture. The cohesive use of black cladding and fixings throughout the residence unifies these materials, extending this relationship to the matte black exterior, culminating in a distinctly modern Australian aesthetic.
The deliberate integration of the Gruyere farmhouse with the landscape created a perfect moment to incorporate furniture that echoed the same narrative. Furniture collections from Cosh Living by the Australian brand Kett draw inspiration from the surroundings to inform their designs. This mutual commitment to finding inspiration in nature facilitated the seamless infusion of the furniture into the home, imparting refined elegance and a timeless quality to the inviting atmosphere of the farmhouse.
Kett’s locally crafted furniture served as a fitting complement to the premium materials within the interior. Meticulous attention to the selection of material colours, finishes, and textures ensured a seamless integration with the surrounding features of the home and the immediate landscape. This considerate approach fostered a harmonious flow throughout the residence, establishing a profound sense of place.
Within the kitchen, the gentle curves of the Arc Dining table, adorned with a dark smoked oak finish, create a striking contrast to the honey oak finish of the rhythmic board. The Johanna high-back chairs introduce a subtle blend of soft fabric and leather, elevating the overall natural aesthetic and comfort of the dining space.
The furniture within the living space functions almost as a mirror to the scenic view beyond. The gentle, curved forms of the Glenaire swivel chairs mirror the hills, the Portland coffee tables playfully resonate with natural earthy tones, and the Feathertop sofa offers a soft, cloud-like seating experience, enhancing the overall ambiance.
The bedroom, mirroring the wood panelling in the kitchen, serves as an ideal canvas for the Erskine bed. Opening onto a brick patio, the bedroom showcases the Forrest lounge chairs and coffee table in a soft pink tone and light timber, crafting a harmonious environment that contrasts with the matte black exterior.
The secluded courtyard, boasting a pool and open fireplace, presented an excellent opportunity to showcase the versatility of outdoor furniture and its ability to seamlessly bring all the comforts typically found indoors to an outdoor setting.
Within the central courtyard of the home, the Addis and Aireys lounge collection orchestrates an intimate lounging experience around the open fireplace, complemented by the Addis table and Nelson chairs providing a comfortable outdoor dining area. Once more, the collections were tailored to resonate with the tones of the surrounding architecture, showcasing the thoughtful upholstery and finishes available in Kett’s offerings. This personalized touch fosters a serene and cohesive atmosphere, amplifying the narrative between design and nature.
With larger open spaces that surround the property, The Apollo’s robust and durable structure demonstrated the perfect setting standing up to strong winds and direct sunlight.
The Gruyere Farmhouse by Rachcoff Vella Architects serves as a genuine example of harmonious coexistence between architecture and nature, showcasing the possibilities when design integrates with its surroundings. Through the incorporation of Kett’s furniture collections, characterised by timeless elegance and an inherent sense of place, the Gruyere Farmhouse transformed into a captivating and striking illustration of a distinctly modern Australian home.
Photography by Tatjana Plitt
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