The Great Wall of Warburton is the backbone of a house built to give its owner a new life.
Peter Falvey's busy life in Melbourne as a foreign aid project director made him yearn for the tranquillity of the country and he found land in the Warburton Valley. His vision for a house was that it should be serene, peaceful with a reflective ambience, fit into the environment and be somewhere that one day he could live full-time.
To achieve this end, Peter worked very closely with his architect Simon Knott (as well as Julian Kosloff and Tim Black). The development of the design and the build itself was an 'adventure' for everyone. Before construction started Simon camped on the block to get a sense of the site, and this co-operative and collaborative spirit was there throughout the project.
Arriving at the property, the long driveway ends up at a blank, abstract wall - the Great Wall of Warburton. The house is entered via a large timber door in the middle of the great wall and, upon opening, the spectacular view of the Warburton Valley is immediately revealed. Throughout the house the wall acts as an omnipresent anchoring backbone and is visible from every space. Another key design element is that by sliding just one door, a large four bedroom house closes down to become a one bedroom space.
It was Peter who had the central idea that the house should slowly reveal itself and be a surprise, but it was Simon who designed Peter's idea into a very special home.