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A Subtropical Sensation

Emerging from the remnants of a local architectural landmark, Wybelenna is a house that grew from an existing Robin Gibson cottage that had previously occupied the site.

This design was inspired by the work of both Gibson (and, in turn, Neutra) and is a contemporary interpretation of the modernist dialogue. This theme is evident throughout the design, right down to the “orb” fireplace. The house possesses an extensive, linear plan with all rooms intended to invite in the winter sun while at the same time allowing direct access to the pool and garden for the long summers.

Working with modernist principals, the property demonstrates the idea of form and material. A choice palette of materials has been employed to reinforce the concept of blurring the lines between indoor and outdoor spaces.

The natural Abyss split stone reaches from the outside in, as does the timber and the tiling. The seats even extend through thresholds to obscure these inevitable lines. The use of materials is dictated more by what one would expect to experience outside, rather than in. In doing so, the impression of the house is made more about the outdoor and subtropical immersion.

Despite its size, the home has a decided sustainability agenda and features turf roofs, 140,000L of water, 15KW of solar power, recycled materials (stone and timber) along with all the “first principal” design concepts that one would presume.

An organic panoply of zinc, tallow wood, Abyss split stone walling and flooringRaven granite and cobblestones, and travertine infuse a robust aesthetic that results in timeless architecture.