Timber and glass float on a sea of green

FOREST AND SKY: The timber columns and large windows of Green Velvet House at Barwon Heads allow for a vista of tea trees all around.
FOREST AND SKY: The timber columns and large windows of Green Velvet House at Barwon Heads allow for a vista of tea trees all around.

The Green Velvet House is a family home on the Victorian coast, between Torquay and Portsea, designed by Peter Winkler Architects.

A cement sheet-clad double storey house, it features exposed structural timbers dividing the facade into bays to create a meditative rhythm. This rests over a bluestone plinth that conceals the basement and earths the dwelling.

An existing depression in the site's topography has been utilised to position the garage and storage area with access via the driveway. The topography of the site, which varied significantly, has been largely left as it was.

The orientation of the upper levels provides for extensive views over Moonah Park and coastal tea tree canopy of the site and surrounding landscape.

The roof has a subtle twist which both mimics the contour of the site and also allows for passive solar design and weather protection.

The generous eaves help to shade the glazing on the north and west elevations, with horizontal screening protecting the east facing windows from late morning sun in summer.

GLOWING: The plywood lining of the walls and sealed fibre cement ceiling provides a warm palette.

GLOWING: The plywood lining of the walls and sealed fibre cement ceiling provides a warm palette.

The gentler early morning sun is welcomed year-round, and penetrates deep into the elongated east facade of the home.

Peter Winkler Architects minimised the building footprint by efficiently consolidating the form, rather than creating a sprawling building that overtakes the site.

Landscape fills the outlook from both the internal and external entertaining spaces. The master planning of the site ensures the north and west-facing pool is able to be viewed from all living spaces, although is secondary to the green vista.

The basement of the project includes a garage, caravan store, pool plant room, cellar and various other zones for the storage of gardening tools, beach related paraphernalia and exercise equipment.

The ground level comprises the living, dining, kitchen, walk-in pantry, powder room, laundry, study, guest bedroom with ensuite, pool and sunbathing terrace. The owners are invited outdoors via the many accessible decks at this level.

Level one comprises the more private spaces of the dwelling, including a lounge, two children's bedrooms, central bathroom and master bedroom suite including a walk-in robe and ensuite.

Further upper level decking provides ample opportunity to connect with family and guests in the spaces below, and enjoy the connection to the pool and landscape.

Internally the plywood lining of the walls and sealed fibre cement ceiling provides a warm palette, with soft light emanating from the dwelling into the surrounding environment. The building features extensive recycled grey ironbark hardwood columns and beams.

The fixed glazing was site glazed into the timber columns, with double glazed aluminium sliding doors and double hung sashless windows providing access and ventilation. The Colorbond traydeck roof is fitted with a 10.26 kW photovoltaic system. Three water tanks provide 15,000 litres of water storage for garden use and toilet flushing, located under the north deck. The project also processes its own effluent on site and retains the stormwater via retention pits. Hydronic heating has been provided throughout, with a wood fire boosting the warmth of spaces in winter.

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