Views of the Valley

Thursday 02 Aug 2012

Cantilevered residence in winemaking region of Yarra Valley creates stunning silhouette

The dramatic supporting cantilever defines the silhouette of Denton Corker Marshall Architects' View Hill House, which looks out over the Yarra Valley winemaking region of Victoria. Once a series of farms strung out along the tracks through the valley on either side of the river, the Yarra Valley is now a thriving destination for food and wine.

One of the building’s storeys appears to hang dangerously and impressively over the other, creating a dramatic and visually-striking structure. The exterior of the lower storey is clad in pre-rusted steel and the upper storey has walls of black aluminium. Thick chipboard lines the interior walls and ceilings of both levels and the floor of the upper storey, while the lower storey features a shining concrete floor.

The space on ground floor is predominately designed for living, dining, and kitchen space, with bedrooms at either end. Upstairs houses two offices and another guest bedroom for the privacy of the occupants. The thought behind the planning appears to have been straightforward; to present controlled views so that the living area looks out over the vineyard. This is achieved by taking each end of the structural tubes and then by raising three panels on the side of the lower tube so that the mountains containing the valley on all sides offer a clear and preferable view.

The sticks which rest on the ground are made of rusting steel, whilst the sticks sitting on right angles on top are made from black aluminium. These sticks appear as very thin metal tubes with glass inset at each end. They are lined with a grey green stained OSB board, on the upper level its walls, ceilings and even the floor is lined - at ground level the floor is charcoal polished concrete. The ground level tube is 6m x 4m in cross-section so that the ceiling heights are 3.2m; the upper tube is 4m x 3m with 2.4m ceilings.

Samantha Morley

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