Ferntree House 1

The winding and weaving nature of the approach road, along a rural dirt road through the landscape to the escarpment clearing, suggested an architectural response in the form of a line in the landscape as a continuation of previous investigations by the practice into the formal and spatial potential of a singular line in a powerful landscape setting. Here, a timber line runs parallel to the road and switches back and forth through the trees, gradually rising in height until it reaches a climax at the edge of the escarpment. Partway along this wall, its underbelly is eroded by a dark base (providing concealed entry doors) that alters in height. The only clues to habitation are small lancet windows toward the high end of the wall.

The singular quality of this timber line eschews any notion of domesticity or romantic "rural" habitation. Rather, it acts as a monumental object which navigates its landscape setting and provides both a "place" to inhabit within that landscape and a backdrop to it.

The house itself is located in a "poche" space created between the timber wall and a dark-coloured metal-clad wall beyond. This metal-clad wall varies in its distance from the timber wall, narrow at the approach end before opening out to the double-headed view to the southern waterways. The metal wall and roof are combined in a singular element that simplifies the external expression of the house, eliminating any intermediate scale within the composition. Windows are combined into two major openings further magnifying the scale of the house.