Springhill House is a private dwelling designed for an author and artistic director seeking a tree-change from living in the inner suburbs of Melbourne.The dwelling is part of a larger project of re-imagining and revitalizing an under worked paddock into a place of habitation, connection and reflection. The project explores place-making within a vast rural setting and supports the notion that a dwelling has emotional foundations and memory intrinsic to its physical built form.
The site is defined by triangular boundaries formed by natural desire lines of the county roads. The land that flows across the site has been sculpted into soft undulations from surface water that flows through the ground from the nearby Springhill. There are two dams and a spring at the low point. The dwelling is sited towards the high point of the site adjacent an outcrop of granite that forms an subtle rise to the north of the building, offering both a foreground for aspect from the dwelling and shelters the home from the noise of the road to west.
The building form takes its cues from archetypal hay sheds that litter the broader Australian landscape. These stoic silhouettes, roofed yet open on all sides, are borne through farming conventions and rational necessity. They are often a reminder of ideas of frontier and shelter that are present within the Australian psyche. For the client, this approach conjured memories of her childhood home on the plains of Western Queensland. Much like a hay shed, the dwelling’s roof extends beyond the enclosed forms creating sheltered, flexible spaces around most of the building’s perimeter. Supported by a series of glulam portal frames, the roof defines the areas of habitation from the treeless, grassy expanse beyond.