Avenel House, Australian Residential Building, Architect, Victoria Property Images

The Avenel House Australia : Architecture

Contemporary Australian Home in Victoria design by Paul Morgan Architects

19 Feb 2009

Date built: 2006

Design: Paul Morgan Architects

The Avenel House, Victoria, Australia

Photographs: John Gollings

The Avenel House in Victoria

Contemporary Home in Victoria

Situated on an expansive property in Australia’s South-Eastern state of Victoria, the design of this four-bedroom house has been inspired by the environmental conditions of this exposed rural setting. The challenge for this project was to design a self-sustaining house in a remote and harsh environment without existing services. The design response to this alien context is both futuristic and grounded to the site.

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The ecological conditions of the site – prevailing winds, path of the sun, granitic geology – have been used to generate formal qualities of the design. The modeling of dynamic forces – wind and sun – on the skin of the building has produced a performance envelope that both expresses and utilizes these forces through the use of wind scoops and timber sun shading louvers.

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The house was sited high enough to maximize the view from the house but low enough so that the view of the brow of the hill and the silhouette of trees was not disturbed.

Contour lines were followed in the siting of the house, and views of granite platforms and outcrops maintained. The landscape has a directional or linear quality at various scales.

The master planning objective was to utilize this quality to connect the residence with the vast scale of the setting rather than designing a domestic garden. Long retaining walls and the use of granite crust pavers (which decrease in density further away from the house) mediated between the domestic and rural scales.

The house incorporates passive and active thermal devices. Roof mounted wind scoops with electrically powered louvers allow for air ventilation from southerly wind as well as the purging of warm air during summer. Deep eaves on the northern elevation, shaped like a proscenium to frame the views, allow in winter sun but limit summer sun, as do side timber louvers, which utilise recycled timber members. Rain water is harvested from the roof and is used for a number of uses.

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The design combines both the alien object – an aerodynamic, lightweight metal skin and roof with the embedded – a more massive stone base. The granite used in the project has been quarried from the site, cut and laid dry to form a strong relationship between the house and the landscape.

The Avenel House Victoria – Building Information

Project: The Avenel House
Architect: Paul Morgan Architects
Status: Completed in 2006
Location: Avenel, Victoria, Australia

Project Team: Paul Morgan, Sophie Dyring, Karla Martinez, Teck Chow Chee, Chong Hong, Catherine Ranger
Structural Engineer: Peter Felicetti
Quantity Surveyor: Anthony Prowse
Building Surveyor: BSGM
Landscape Architect: Fiona Harrisson
Principal Contractor: BD Projects

Photographs: John Gollings
Images and Text: Courtesy of Paul Morgan Architects

The Avenel House photos / information from Paul Morgan Architects 190209

Paul Morgan Architects

Location: Avenel, Victoria, Australia

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