Perched on the side of Mount Martha, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, The Split House effortlessly meets the owners’ desire for privacy while cleverly engaging with the home’s surrounds, making the most of its breathtaking views to Port Phillip Bay.
Simon Knott, Director BKK Architects, says, “We were keen to create a strong relationship to the landscape and surrounds, not just to the heroic water views (of Port Phillip Bay), but to the small cluster of sheoaks near the entrance to the property.” So while some parts of the home look like they’re buried into the site, others are appropriately raised off the ground.
Having sold their family home in Melbourne the owners, who are in beginning stages of down sizing, wanted to create a retreat to bring the family together on weekends and over the summer holidays, planning to spend more time at this much sought after coastline. The owners established a great partnership with BKK, providing ample and specific detail about amenities and technical aspects of the build, leaving the design to the experts. And it shows.
The thoughtful and eye-catching design by BKK Architects comprises two simple pavilions: An upper living/master bedroom area and a rumpus room/guest bedroom area, slanting away from each other at perfect angles. The two timber-clad areas occupy separate levels, following the natural contours of the site, but are cleverly linked by a stairway covered with zinc panels, while a gap underneath welcomes views from one side of the home to the other.
There is ample sunlight throughout, via windows and sliding glass doors, and a range of private and communal spaces to which homeowners and guests alike can retreat. One such area is the open and inviting living room, which includes a feature wall of Petersen D99 handmade bricks.
Having used these bricks before, Simon is a huge supporter, and in this instance, they were the perfect solution to the interior’s design intent: to achieve a hand crafted look and feel. Simon comments, “Petersen bricks are superb. They don’t look like they’re manufactured in a factory, they look handmade [because they are] and you can see how they’ve been made, and that’s really important, telling that story.”
As you can see, Simon and his team at BKK created something really spectacular and unique for their clients who are, needless to say, very happy. And, not surprisingly, The Split House received a Commendation Award at the 2016 AIA Victorian Architecture Awards for Residential Architecture – Houses New. So well deserved.
For more information on Petersen handmade bricks, please contact Robertson Building Products on +61 8199 9599.
Architecture: BKK Architects
Builder: Overend Constructions
Product: Petersen D99 bricks
Photographer: Peter Bennetts