The journey through the scheme slowly reveals different elements, replicating the experience of travelling across the sloping site.
The scheme attempts to fully integrate into local vernacular and siting. The proposal follows the natural contours of the sloping part of the site, enabling the siting to have the least impact, respecting the low density and stillness of the setting.
Extensive research into rural precedents and working farm buildings influenced and informed the design. The proposal is to work with the surrounding context and looks to set a precedent for appropriate design in green wedge zones.
The roof lines follow the angles of the surrounding hinterland, expressing the natural contour lines of the site.
The users’ immediate foreground experience is replicated in the dramatic proportions of the upper building. The combination of the upper and lower buildings attempt to mimic the surrounding scenery, including the valleys in the background and varying bands of forest lines.
The scheme is split into two forms, set at 90 degrees to one another. An upper element begins the journey through the scheme, capturing vista views north, east and west. A staircase connects the two forms, following the change in grade.
The upper form is proportionally high, creating a sparse, dramatic entrance to the scheme, transferring the user into an atmospheric environment, reminiscent of the entrance to the site (highest point).
The lower horizontal form sits close to the ground, forming both a summer and winter room. The program requires the user to connect and interact with the landscape on a regular basis. Typical external finishes and products have been utilised both internally and externally.
Structure is expressed where possible to convey the workings of the building, based on a module similar to the existing spacing of crops and fence-lines.
Landscape is designed to be both ordered and sparse, hierarchy of elements are designed to respond and add to the indigenous ground cover and perimeter shrubs and trees. The order of placement immediately connecting to the house follows the strict ordering of the vineyards and likely previous use as an orchard.
The value of the project was to create a building which expresses structure, minimising traditional covering elements, allowing materials to age appropriately with limited maintenance. The landscape master-plan is to be staged and implemented on a 5 year plan. Lightweight construction techniques are complemented by heavy weight ground and floor conditions in the form of reclaimed stone, brick and concrete.
Materials are predominantly locally sourced and are finished with a palette researched through site analysis, with the goal of respecting the calmness of the coastal village.
Passive cooling is achieved through strategic window and door placement on 4 key axis points.
Passive heating is aided by thermal mass and the ability to shut either the lower or upper building down, depending on occupancy levels.
The client required a working property within green wedge zoning, in order to live and sustain the cultivation of pinot noir and chardonnay grapes. The scheme was to be low impact and highly integrated into its setting. Old world proportions and programming were to be modernised in order to be relevant for future use and future adaptability.