A Rammed Earth Masterpiece With Sweeping Mountain Views

Australian architecture at its very best is renowned for capturing the very essence of ‘place’. Amongst the pantheon of internationally recognised Australian architectural practices, one name in particular stands out – Peter Stutchbury Architecture. The buildings are highly sensitive to site and the latest design to reach completion is no exception.

The background story to the house starts as far back as 2005. The firm’s design for Springwater (a house) won the Australian Institute of Architect’s highest award for residential architecture. The elements of Springwater became the inspiration to work with Peter Stutchbury on an undefined project, on a site unknown, at some point in the future. Fast forward to 2020, the years of dreaming, planning and patience have been worth the wait. The result is a quintessential Australian country house.

The house – or is it a shed? From above, it’s as though a jewel has been dropped from the sky. Such is the deft touch of Peter Stutchbury, none of the houses look the same. Yet they all optimise their location and ultimately their connection with place. Sacred Mountain House is the newest residential design by renowned firm, Peter Stutchbury Architecture and a remarkable reinterpretation of the Australian country house. At one with the landscape, the house acknowledges place and people.

As the early morning mist rises, a rolling landscape is revealed, and the design offers views of the surrounding mountains that have changed little since ancient times.

The inverted roof profile minimises the volume of the roof and draws the eye to big sky views during the day and the infinity of the night sky. The sun moves around the house as if it were a living sundial. The passage of time is marked throughout the day by the designation of space. The main bedroom is washed with the early morning light, the main living opens to the north. Children’s bedrooms witness the serenity of sun-down.

Unobstructed by neighbours or planning requirements, the architect has free rein. Everything is planned, everything is where it should be. It feels almost effortless.

The entire rammed earth structure was built by hand, rammer and a bobcat over a 3-week period. The house ‘slides’ or unfolds to suit the occupants and the activities of the occupants – designed with four bedrooms for an expanding and evolving family. Enormous custom hardwood sliding doors transform the main interior living space, almost doubling the volume of the room.

The courtyard design of the house creates a natural 360-degree connection to the landscape. From every living space the landscape is framed. For the occupants, the courtyard design creates the architectural equivalent of an embrace – internal covered walkways provide protection and connect people and the functions within the house, whatever the season, whatever the weather.

The material palette is textural, honest and built to last. Tactile experiences abound – a myriad of subtle design and finish choices have created a rural pared back experience. Custom joinery, handmade copper sinks, solid brass taps by Brodware, lighting by TOVO & Iguizzini, kitchen appliances by V-Zug, locks, hinges and handles by Pitella add refinement and finesse to the textured raw materials.

There is a natural generosity to the design. Huge barn doors open the house to the landscape. Flexible use of space from the large entry portal to the 130 sqm undercroft that could utilise any manner of use, from cheese making to wine pressing or a huge ‘teenage retreat’.

A true masterpiece that could be yours!

135 Vermont Road, Mulbring will be sold via private sale. For expressions of interest get in touch with Marcus Lloyd-Jones from Modern House. See the full listing + contact details here. This story is an edited version of text that originally appeared on Modern House. 

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