Mornington Home

Mornington Home

Mornington Home

Project details –

Type
Residential

Builder
Fido Projects

RAP
Bunurong

Year
2024

 

Photos
Willem-Dirk du Toit

Landscape Construction
Inspired Landscapes

 

Mornington House presents as a small, abstract form, but as the entry is approached, around the curve, the elevated timber stick-and-infill structure of the house is revealed, along with a view of the landscape and bay.

Mornington House is our clients’ holiday home. It sits on the same block as an older holiday home, occupied by their adult children and families, and shares a swimming pool and driveway. The couple engaged Foomann to design a relaxed house that focuses on the view; where they can host guests and entertain.

Although this home is a new build on a clear plot, the project was more complicated and constrained than many small inner-city projects. Located at the top of the block, the form and construction technique needed to negotiate the steep terrain and triangular-shaped boundary, as well as the site requirements, including a two-storey maximum at any point, a graded flood plain and bushfire rating. The landscape is an intrinsic part of Mornington House. Even with the building on stilts, occupants experience the duality of floating over the landscape, while being embedded in the surrounding greenery.

The unadorned timber clad facade that greets on arrival encloses the top set of stairs. The curved walls correspond with the stair winders and allow the building to sit further up the triangular site, expanding the view of the bay from all levels. The raked volume follows the angle of the stairs and provides a setback to neighbours.
Inside, the kitchen, dining and living area flow out to a large deck for entertaining. Side windows frame views of greenery, and the ceiling gives way to a double-height void and glazing that amplifies the view. The main bedroom is a mezzanine, overlooking the living area and landscape. Below, another curved volume contains the stairs to the guest floor beneath. Two bedrooms face the view, while the fernery in the under-croft provides a backdrop to the television room.

This project benefitted from the involvement of the builders, Foomann’s long-time collaborators Fido Projects, to work through the complex process, including the unconventional timber structure. The structure is expressed throughout the house, showcasing how the building is put together and enhancing its relaxed, natural and robust feel. Timber columns and beams help define rooms and spaces, and the mass-timber subfloors provide a timber finish to the ceilings beneath. Steel connection brackets and plates are left visible, with additional steel plates on the underside of beams installed as indirect light fittings. While the SIPs wall panels are concealed, a shadow line of the same surface material (OSB) on joinery is a nod to what lies beneath.

Externally, the building’s form and structural expression is accentuated with vertical and horizontal spotted gum cladding. Curves in the joinery and furniture continue the design language, and support movement and flow through spaces. Wool-wool acoustic ceiling and recycled timber flooring add texture and natural character to the home.

The form, materials and construction were designed to respect the unique constraints of the project, creating a home that embraces and amplifies the special nature of the site.

 

Animation
Foomannimation by Isobel Knowles

Entry Deck
From the entry, the elevated timber stick-and-infill structure of the house is revealed, along with a view of the landscape and bay.

 

Family Room
The double-height void and glazing amplifies the view of the bay and sky.

Front Door
The mass-timber subfloors provide a timber finish to the ceilings beneath. The recycled timber floor steps down past the kitchen towards the Family Room.

Lower Level
A second entry provides access from the pool and for guests

Television Room
The open area in the lowest level provides access to the two guest bedrooms and bathroom. The fernery in the under-croft provides a backdrop to the television room.

 

Mezzanine Bedroom
The view from the main bedroom is past the double height void which connects occupants to the living space

Curves
Curves in the joinery and furniture continue the design language, and support movement and flow through spaces

Finishes
The structure is expressed throughout the house, showcasing how the building is put together

 

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