Large Family House Nestled Among Tea Trees

Large Family House Nestled Among Tea Trees

Architects: Robson Rak Architects
Project: Layer House
Architects in Charge: Kathryn Robso, Chris Rak
Location: Victoria, Australia
Area: 470.0 m2
Photography: Shannon McGrath

The Layer residence is a large family house located in regional, coastal Victoria. The site is close to the beach yet doesn’t have any views to embrace. The site is largely sloping from the north to the south and is made up of layers of limestone shelves and underground caves.

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The client’s brief was to create a large family house that can accommodate many guests and family members at the one time. This was to be a quality, robust home for generations.

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The house has been designed as a series of ‘layers’ with intersecting zones and private vistas. Nestled among tea trees, there are no sweeping panoramic views from the site so we created some smaller internal courtyard spaces and vistas that allowed a sense of looking past the building.

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The house is contextually sensitive and is built with local building materials and techniques. The two main materials used on the house are rammed earth and timber. The sand component of the rammed earth is locally sourced and built by local artisans. Rammed earth is a sustainable, honest, and efficient building material that requires no maintenance and ages gracefully. The timber will be allowed to grey off and age with time.

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Aluminium doors and windows are double glazed and thermally broken. Louvers are used throughout the house for cross ventilation. Hydronic heating within the concrete floor evenly heats the home in the winter.

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Whilst we used a simple and pale palette of timber, rammed earth and a pale concrete floor we used some strategic graphic insertions to the interior design to excite and delineate areas. The green tiled island bench is one such example. Using a hardwearing commercial grade tile, the green also helps connect the landscaping with the internal space.

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The house is contextually sensitive and is built with local building materials and techniques. The two main materials used on the house are rammed earth and timber. The sand component of the rammed earth is locally sourced and built by local artisans. Rammed earth is a sustainable, honest, and efficient building material that requires no maintenance and ages gracefully. The timber will be allowed to grey off and age with time.

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