Our clients established an access track on a 8.8 hectare hill-top farm property to a site facing north and overlooking rural Cambridge. Sheds and sharemilkers houses neighbour in close proximity at the bottom of the hill.
Our brief for a stand-alone farmhouse of 250 square metres, quickly evolved as series of structured spaces around a protected internal courtyard. We were keenly aware of being close to the top of the hill and that the house would be silhouetted against the hill and sky as visitors drove up the hill. A flat gable supporting a lean-to was devised as two simple trusses sheathed in milky white acrylic intended as a nod to the suffuse clouds that flow and change over these magic foothills. The translucent beam is designed in a variety of details to diffuse sun, shedding light into the interior and central courtyard, and with artificial light inside it becomes a radiant vessel at night.
A further subtlety of the acrylic sheathing is its iridescent sheen, revealed only in certain light and cloud conditions when it transforms into vivid pink. Fortunately our client was delighted with this accidental effect. Having extensively travelled, she particularly loves the Indian city of Jaipur widely recognized for its pink buildings. The vivid use of colours, courtyard tile patterns, perforated elements and materials, and the pink guest room within the house are further references to the client’s love of India.
While responding to the magnificence of its landscape setting at one level, this house also unapologetically provides alcoves, plinths, and thresholds for the much loved collected objects along with the ordinary equipment and accoutrements of life within. The client’s connection to this geographical place, and their passionate life in full colour is, we hope, reflected, revealed and celebrated in this home.