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Sitting above Lake Glenmaggie, which is situated south-east of Melbourne, Freda has created a long, serene house with many vertical lines which remind one of the experience of walking through a shady plantation of saplings. In fact there are quite a few trunks used in the pergola posts on the sunny side, and the many doors and windows are timber, so the analogy is only a step or two from reality.


In this house the architect has been allowed full rein to express her design language: the kitchen bench curves sensuously, concealed pelmet lighting sweeps along the edge of the Living and Dining area, a beautiful hearth welcomes visitors in winter, jewel-shaped windows dance in the bathroom walls, and the doors and windows are elegantly proportioned and divided. Externally the design of the house continues into the landscaped design delicate curved motifs enliven the paving at the front entry, radially-sawn pergola beams and battens radiate above, a circular planter in stone anchors the north garden, and paths curve away into garden beds. The result is an environment at once unified and delightfully varied, where the boundary between plant forms and building forms seems to dissolve.


Much attention has been paid to attenuating the harsh climate on this site. The verandah overlooking the lake has sliding glass doors for cold and windy weather, and insect screens so that lunches can be eaten there in summer. The LIving, Dining and Kitchen opens onto this verandah, while on the other side large double glazed windows allow a flood of sunshine in to heat the space in winter, but not in summer when eaves and a pergola provide shade.


This house has been awarded a Commendation in the Sustainable Architecture category of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter) Awards.


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