Bridgetown, Western Australia
Perched on a hillside in the undulating Bridgetown countryside, this house not only works sustainably with its environment – it is gradually becoming a part of it.
Awards: RAIA WA Chapter Architecture Awards 2006 Ecological Sustainable Development - Architecture Award | RAIA WA Chapter Architecture Awards 2006 Single Residential Award – Commendation | RAIA WA Chapter Architecture Awards 2006 Bluescope Steel Award – Commendation | RAIA WA Chapter Architecture Awards 2006 Mondo-Luce Lighting Award – Commendation
One of the architect’s own projects, this property is a study in successful sustainable design, far from the amenities of the city. Bridgetown’s dramatic rolling landscape captured the imagination of the architect, who envisaged a winter retreat constructed of the raw elements of the land itself.
Salvaged window and doorframes from his grandparents’ recently demolished home were the starting point for the design. Restored and reconfigured, they would bring the memories and personal significance of their previous existence to the new home. From this initial concept, the Winter Cottage became a ‘cabinet’ of glass and timber to house these memories. Suspended on the side of the hill over the winter creek, the house has a unique presence and an unrivalled view across the valley. With spacious living and sleeping areas, a secluded guest room, a contemporary kitchen and a wood-fired stove, it offers a relaxed balance of modern comforts and country pleasures. The house is also designed to change and age with its surroundings, with the new and recycled materials – timber, metal, raw stone and the copper louvers – acquiring their own patina. In this way, the home will move in step with its natural surroundings, measuring the seasons alongside the trees and the earth.