Clean lines and modern design make way for nature views in Highton House. 

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Connection to nature is an important feature of this home, which sits on a corner allotment with substantial valley views across the Geelong suburb of Highton, and to the granite ridges of the You Yang Regional Park.

Given the corner exposure of the site, the house has been designed to “turn its back” on the two roadways, with only highlight glazing for crossflow ventilation on these fa├žades. The house also cuts into the side of the allotment, giving it a private, low-slung street presence.

Upon entering the home, there is a dramatic shift in scale as overheight ceilings juxtapose with the home’s low southern elevation.

On the northern elevation, floor-to-ceiling glazing has been used to harness winter sun and bring the courtyard/pool area into the home, as well as the You Yangs in the distance. 

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“There was a strong desire to harness views on site and also to encourage a connection to the proposed pool,” says architect Lachlan Shepherd.

“So we designed the house to work around a courtyard typology, whereby the pool was elevated to floor-level with a concrete blockwork structure constructed above ground and the pool "dropped in". This allowed for direct visual connection with the pool and works to draw the eye across the water to the views beyond."

As the home was designed for a family of four, it was important to provide separate spaces for parents and kids. As a result, the house has been divided into three distinct ‘zones’: a kids wing (complete with small rumpus area and bathroom), the main living, dining and kitchen zone, and parents bedroom/retreat area.

The client also requested materials with little to no maintenance, resulting in "the robust material selections of corten, glass and concrete," says Shepherd. 

The use of these materials is simplistic and cohesive throughout the home, resulting in a clean, contemporary look, and challenging the notion that a family home cannot also be a sophisticated piece of architecture.