Building or renovating? Take inspiration from a house that adores its view
inspired by its location opposite magnificent Lake Wendouree, the architect’s challenge was to design a house where the outdoors could be enjoyed year round while paying respect to the history and beauty of the picturesque Victorian city of Ballarat.
Once you lift your jaw off the ground at the amazing front window of this home, more subtle nods to the local area start to catch your eye: such a good rule of thumb when you’re building. These include the brickwork, specifically chosen to tie in with the heritage buildings in Ballarat; the Boston ivy planted beneath it that will eventually cover the entire facade in a spectacular living green wall, fitting in with the city’s many magnificent gardens; and the clever manipulation of the levels of the block that aids the home in appearing to nestle within, rather than on top of the landscape.
Effectively, this fourbedroom home, designed by John Wardle Architects, is a series of pavilions built off an anchoring spine with a floor plan that can be reconfigured depending on how you desire to use the spaces. The pavilion
currently chosen for dining is lined with vertical and horizontal panels of spotted gum, soaring high into the ceiling void. The timber adds a luscious warmth and moodiness, enhancing views to the courtyard and the raised garden beds outside.
Upstairs, towards the rear of the home, three ‘floating’ rooms jut out above the lower level, each housing a bedroom and mimicking the boatsheds you find on the lake opposite.
The passion to celebrate the history of Ballarat, the desire to make the most of an active outdoor lifestyle and wanting to appreciate gorgeous gardens all year round have been achieved effortlessly in this masterpiece.
Featuring wide glass louvre walls is a ‘greenhouse’ – homage to architect Peter Elliott's conservatory design in the Ballarat Botanical Gardens. It is filled with orchids and begonias typically seen around Ballarat.
Upstairs, the parents’ retreat/ library is an ideal place for time out.
The signature of this design is the incredible window. It wraps around the front facade to frame the lake view opposite.
Entry to the master bedroom is defined by glass floor panels, filtering light into the rooms below. Superb!
The kitchen’s 16m-long marble benchtop appears to float while linking rooms together.
Spotted gum is a feature of the doors and lines many interior walls, providing an earthy transition to the various outdoor ‘garden rooms’.
Glass panels in the floor help to transfer light to the rooms below