Aqueduct House features spaces that are defined and connected to the outdoors by a rammed earth wall that runs the entire length of the house.
The home was designed by Melbourne-based Branch Studio Architects and completed earlier this year.
Aqueduct House sits on a large parcel of land in the native bushland in the southeast of Melbourne, Victoria. Surrounded by an old aqueduct reserve, the house maintains a strong connection with its context through a thick rammed earth wall.
The wall is the main focal point of the floor plan design and its natural tones and textures mimic those of the land. Running east-west through the entire length of the house, extending beyond the external walls and into the landscape, it affixes the house to the surrounding earth and allows the roof and deck wafers to hang from it.
“The organic materiality of the earth and rusted steel is directly contrasted by the sharp elegance of the large glass panels and the shimmer of the floating galvanised steel structure,” the architects said.
“Reoccurring rural qualities of earth and fire combine regularly throughout the design with the free standing section of rammed earth in the centre of the living space housing an open fireplace on one side as well as a combustion stove on the other while the external mud-igloo pizza oven embedded into the rammed earth wall directly links the kitchen to the outdoor areas and promotes outdoor living.”
The floor plan consists of two rectangles rotated and intersected by the rammed earth wall, which defines the interior and exterior spaces, creating two main decks along the northern façade.
In the centre, a triangular living room opens to a main deck and offers stunning views through a nine-metre stacking glass wall. The two spaces connect to create a large rectangular social and meeting place which blurs the distinctions between the home’s interiors and exteriors.
The design allows flexibility and transformable spaces; the house can be configured as a one, two or three-bedroom home with adaptable living/studio spaces arranged within the main volumes. The first floor is currently used as a large master en-suite bedroom.
“All the internal spaces including the living areas and bedrooms are largely open and undefinable with the utility areas of the kitchen and bathrooms being the only fixed programme,” the architects said.