Longform provincialism: Project Franklinford
Franklinford, Central Highlands VIC
Disruption is one thing amidst the clamour of the city, but when the canvas for architecture is an open field, noise comes to seem counterproductive.
On the contrary, quietude was the driving force behind Project Franklinford, an off-grid modular home in Victoria’s Central Highlands. The four-bedroom residence is designed for sharing in a very serious sense. Two families comprise the permanent occupants of the home, while extended family and other more fleeting guests are accommodated within additional guest quarters.
Despite a large physical footprint, the environmental impact of the Modscape-designed project is negligible. The off-grid home is sustainable and functional, servicing its occupants by virtue of a separate shed that houses a solar panel and storage system, and an 80,000-litre water tank.
The long, straight, insulated form of Project Franklinford has been oriented not just in the interests of capturing bucolic rural views, but also for thermal efficiency – particularly within the large living area, where the families spend the majority of their time.
According to Modscape, it is this living area that forms the focal point of the design. In this space, “living and entertaining spills outdoors thanks to expansive floor-to-ceiling glazing [that opens] up to a north-facing, sun-drenched deck. Views of the surrounding paddocks and creek are captured the moment you walk in the front door. The window itself becomes an ideal space to put your feet up and relax.”
The building envelope itself has been informed by agricultural buildings within the surrounding farmland. Project Franklinford’s modular form has been predominantly clad in Colorbond, with “accents” of Vitrabond and Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs) to bolster environmental performance. “Yet upon approach, it’s the radially sawn timber board and batten-clad form that commands attention,” says Modscape. “This beautifully textured façade conceals the calm rural retreat, with the long form providing a sense of enclosure and privacy.”
Internally, the light, wood-heavy material palette continues with white-washed walls, white laminate joinery and marble-effect Caesarstone fixtures. An element of contrast is assured with the installation of dark oak timber flooring.