Coromandel Valley House

Situated in the Adelaide Hills, Coromandel Valley features a rolling landscape of hills and valleys with beautiful distant views.  The surrounding landscape and larger plot sizes promise an idyllic setting within which a couple can raise their young family.  Coromandel Valley thus sits within a suite of projects completed over the past decade – Tolman’s Hill House, Liverpool Crescent House, Acton Park House – where patterns of living in semi rural contexts have been used to generate a series of economic “first home owner” buildings.  Each of these buildings appears as an economic “blunt” container for daily life but which is punctuated at key points by windows or skylights that connect the occupants to their sites in a moment of wonder or surprise.

The plan of this house was generated by an organization of the client’s ideal living patterns in response to the sloping site and distant hill views available.  The thin bar plan that resulted is more than an arrangement of rooms along a contour, but is instead structured around a series of served and servant spaces that open and close in response to the view.  The availability of key views determined the location of major living and dining spaces that open out to and encompass the greater landscape while in between these “public” rooms, smaller private spaces are more internal in nature and have focused apertures to specific view corridors.  This complex arrangement is sheathed in a simple dark container which addresses the economy required of the project and situated the house in the suite of “blunt objects” the practice has worked with previously.

A series of adjustments are then made to the dark volume of the house – an opening to a bathing courtyard and another to a breakfast courtyard, and a third move in the form of an extended roof over the entry.  Each of these moves lead to moments of intrigue in the way they break from the standard volume, focusing the occupants on those moments in the experience of the house.  Two additions, in the form of a car platform and pool, augment the simple black bar and form a threshold between it and the sloping landscape.