Sited on a ridge overlooking the Rubicon Valley, with views to the Cathedral Ranges, the home was designed with a high level of input from the owners, but with an understanding that there would be changes made as the project and construction evolved.
What was the brief provided by the clients?
The clients presented Hedger Constructions with the challenge of constructing a statement home that would suit their semi‐retirement lifestyle. This included the running of a working farm, continuing components of their existing business life and a home that complemented the natural surroundings.
The result has been the completion of a project to exacting standards in the use of sustainable materials, excellence in finishing and a tribute to innovative design and use of fixtures.
How did you achieve this?
The external construction of 3 metre rammed earth walls inlayed with panel insulation tie the home magnificently into the mountainous surroundings. 250 PFC perimeter beams not only allow for spanning the vast amount of glazing incorporated into the home, but provide a feature to the home construction. The homestead effect is complemented by double glazing windows using Capral 150 series framing and the use of custom profiled ship lapped spotted gum to the gabled areas. A corrugated roof in zinc finishes the outstanding external look of the home. The same features flow through to the lavish pool area complete with pool house in similar design.
How has the design utilised the space?
The home has been designed in a compartmental fashion to allow for clearly designated zones with spacious central kitchen and living.
The fully integrated Focal Kitchen designed kitchen allows for the full range of Miele products set into travertine stone benchtops. The space is designed to allow the kitchen to be practical, functional and inclusive of guests who are welcomed into this expansive area.
Extensive use of solid spotted gum timber throughout the house adds to the countrified feel. Joinery by Design Australia features predominantly in the office area and is complemented by a well‐planned lighting layout. The living areas centre on a bespoke fireplace layout incorporating Chimineas Phillip wood heater in a surround of desert grey natural stone tile. This sits on an elevated resin buffed concrete hearth with electronic under drawer storage and takes full advantage of the views beyond the pool area.
Guests have their own wing with bedrooms complemented by their own expansive bathroom. Bathrooms are of a Robert Dyson design and include Candana fixtures, shower rooms, custom made vanities and extensive lighting systems. The floor to ceiling travertine tiles provides a sense of openness, as do the louvred windows in the shower areas, that not only have a visual impact but provide practical cross ventilation. The ensuite with its stand‐alone bath area taking in the full view of the valley can be privatised at the flick of a switch with helioscreens.
The office area itself has two distinctive zones for the owners incorporating personalised layouts.1200 x 600 porcelain tiles draw guests into the expansive hallway with its feature lighting, gallery and spotted gum cabinetry. The mudroom is a polished concrete floor and adds practicality to the use of the room.
The home has been finished to the highest quality in regard to fixtures and finishings. 13mm deco plasterboard throughout is finished to level 4 standards and has been completed to a standard winning the Professional Plasterers Association of Victorian award. The ceiling incorporates an intricate FX Designs picture rail hanging system and all R4.0 ceilings and walls are insulated with 2.5 acoustic batts.
What are the key features of this property?
In terms of innovation the construction displays an amazing array of features. The security monitored front gate over 2kms from the home is connected via optic fibre cable to a fully integrated CBUS system. The house electrical system and services operate via 3 touch screen panels to control lighting, slab heating, air conditioning, garage doors, house gates, thermal pool cover, audio and TV systems and electric windows and blinds. Helioscreening allows for further relief to exposed windows during heat periods. Air conditioning is a purpose‐built Daiken system that not only allows for zoning of areas, but also within individual rooms, further complementing occupier comfort.
Were there any architectural challenges?
After initial meetings with the architects, Hedger Constructions were given full reign to discuss, modify or provide alternatives to any component of the design. Using our extensive experience in custom home building, the team and owners formed a dynamic working partnership on all levels. The owners wished to be involved as much as possible and the Hedger team coordinated all relationships with sub‐trades to ensure that the owners were not only involved in decision making but that their vision for the completion of the home and the integrity of the build was a component for all involved.
Whilst this comprised some changes to the practicality of the layout and structural components to the roof area, much of the input provided by Hedger Constructions was in the use of new and innovative products and materials to be used. Significantly a great deal of time was spent with owners in template design and presetting of fixtures to allow a definitive sense of what completed works would look like during construction. This meticulous attention to detail played a huge role in the outstanding quality of the finished construction.
The construction itself was difficult in that the setting on the ridge provided extensive planning and attention to detail in excavation to reshape the hill. Given that the house is in 3 components, careful attention was required in structural fixings particularly in plumbing to roofing components. The complexity in coordinating sub‐trades given the scale of works provided some difficulty, but a commitment to scheduling programs ensured a smooth transition.
Does the home promote green living i.e. energy‐saving/water‐saving features?
The thermal qualities of the home fall well above the expectations of the home energy reports. The use of rammed earth, extensive insulation, double glazing and the use of sweeping north verandas add to the sustainable features of the home. The house was built with a 50,000-litre water storage collection from the roof, solar HWS and bathroom fixtures to the highest rating. Helioscreening allows for further relief to exposed windows during heat periods.
The placement of an integrated cool room next to the kitchen allows for the owners to organise produce materials in advance for when they are away for lengthy periods.
Images credits: Paul West Photography,
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