Hill House is a new residential project located on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. The clients were professional city-dwellers who retired to the country to run a vineyard. The house is situated on the vineyard, set amongst the vines, and houses our clients and their golden retriever.
Central to the design of the house was the desire for it to belong in its landscape. Formally, stabilised rammed earth walls respond to the natural wildness of the land, whilst fine timber window frames respond to the controlled order of the vines. Programmatically, indoor and outdoor living spaces bleed into one another. Culturally, an expansive roof acts as water collector, heat vent and shelter for barbecuing. And environmentally, a combination of complex systems and simple passive design ideas permit the house to demand very few resources.
Testimony to the success of its passive sustainable design came during a 1 in 100 year heatwave in 2009 that saw five successive days of temperatures greater than 40°C. With no air-conditioner to help, the indoor air temperature of Hill House peaked at only 31°C and was on average more than 10°C cooler than the ambient outdoor temperature.