Architect Jesse Judd designed this beautiful and engaging holiday lodge for his own family.
The first impression is of caravan style building, with a glowing red/orange radiance, achieved by lining the internal living area with meticulously stained plywood.
"During design, I thought of the house as being like a caravan or one of those fluorescent tents people go camping in," he says.
Given the remote location, Jesse decided to keep construction as simple as possible.
In order to reduce the number of tradespeople needed on site, he had eight steel portal frames prefabricated - skilfully curved to the desired degree - then trucked through the bush to the clearing. Once these "bones" were erected, the builder filled in the gaps using plywood sheeting, metal decking, corrugated steel and insulation.
In planning the house, Jesse dug deep into Australia's cultural memory of lean-to tin sheds and lazy verandas. A rolled plane of corrugated iron encloses the main living space with its face of windows which look out to the surrounding forest of messmate gums. The living area is an open space with the kitchen and its big square stainless steel bench at one end. A smaller curve, one room wide, encloses the sleeping and washing wing and it just slips into the larger one forming a moulded bulkhead above the kitchen wall. The bedroom wing is an efficient, Japanese-like set of rooms that share a corridor, fully glazed to the north, with repeating black aluminium framed sliding doors. The sliding doors are also to the bathroom and in the main living area and allow cross ventilation when the doors are open.
Ply wood is used to clad the interior and is also used for key joinery surfaces, but other than the red/orange of the living room area walls, it is stained a grey brown, more akin to the surrounding forest.
Safety precautions also had a bearing on the design. The area is prone to bush fires - the blackened trunks of nearby trees are a constant reminder - and the forest undergrowth has its fair share of poisonous snakes and other things that bite. The building is raised off the ground, hovering above a sea of blue metal gravel strewn around and under the house and along the driveway to act as a fire break and to prevent the forest undergrowth from encroaching, with the added benefit of allowing local wildlife to move through the area unimpeded.
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