Farmhouse Residence / Smith Architects
Text description provided by the architects. Our client farmed this site with her late husband for over 40 years. They raised a family in a small post war cottage and packing shed. The soil is embedded with family stories, sweat and blood, along with it a deep connection to place.
Our brief was to build a home that was “bold, beautiful, artistic, functional – suitable for an elderly woman living into old age” for a client that needed a Shed, House and a paddock. We built this home for a brave woman that appreciated the textures created by the plough, the changing seasonal weather patterns and exposure to them, the path of the sun and the moon and a strong desire to provide a place for family gatherings.
“I cannot replace the pattern of small crop farming, but I have a strong connection to this place.” CLIENT.
Our response was to set the house into the land to connect the building and occupants to the site. To use rich materials, like the exposed red brick flooring mirroring the ploughed patterns from the farm and the rich red soil. Spotted gum timber flooring, benches and timber trusses from the spotted gum bushland surrounding the property. We embodied memory from the old shed and farmhouse, through the exposed trusses, the raised exposed concrete pool (reminiscent of the water reservoir) and the breezy dining space (reminiscent of the shed used for Easter family lunch)
We orientated the building to provide protection for our client. The building turns its back to the western sun and wind, and the future residential developments. The building and the new shed read coherently, keeping materials simple and shed like, yet beautiful.
We employed our exposure to aged care facility design to create a home that works for elderly people, with the intent of embedding these into the interiors elegantly. Spaces were planned so they are easy to navigate in a wheelchair or with a walker, storage facilities and machines all at a suitable height. Copper rails for stability and for their natural, antibacterial properties.
Bathroom and Kitchen fixtures chosen with long pin levers for future ease of use with aging hands. Large handles for high use drawers that also provide stability for movement. Reading nooks, sewing tables, fireplace rooms, quiet sitting spaces, large gathering spaces were all created, many with their own outlook and views, each with their own spatial feel to allow our client to move around the house throughout the day and evening and experience the house differently.
Energy Efficiency –
10KW solar system installed. Provision for future battery storage system.
Solar heating system for pool water.
Cross ventilation through the house.
High level windows to allow heat to escape during summer.
Curtains to windows to retain warmth in winter.
R2.5 insulation to external walls.