2000-2004, 2013-14

The 1870”s bluestone church sits on a knoll within the .4 Ha site and originally had an austere presence compounded by twenty-one 120 year old cedars that populate the landscape.

Project Description

The clients wished to create a contemporary, generational family home that acknowledges the history of the building and site.

Seventeen local basalt boulders initially introduced to provide a more human-scale element within the landscape as a visual stepping-down from the cedars and building. 

Mel worked closely with award-winning Multiplicity Architects to achieve a cohesive statement between the architecture and landscape through the use of materials and colours.

Rusted steel is used internally and externally.  The perimeter of the site is planted with a viburnum hedge with entry gates of steel that slowly transformed the site from a public to private space, , there is an installation of five boulders, three steel blades and two existing cedar trees,  while steel is used structurally for seats, tables and other small features.  A second dwelling is intended to be clad with steel when constructed.

A grid of Japanese crabapples traverse the site, adding a canopy of light green foliage and pink blossom at mid-height, echoing the colours of the church’s stained glass windows.

Surrounding the tennis court is a retaining wall of quartzite stone slabs quarried at the same time the church was being constructed.  The same quartzite stone is used to enclose the ‘cloister’ entry into the kitchen on one side, while on the other, it wrappes over a bench seat and deck steps designed by Multiplicity.   Quartzite stone pavers mark the paths and provide another outdoor entertaining area beneath a stunning cantilevered table, again by Multiplicity.

The west of the property was fully exposed to the sun, thus twelve soil mounds were formed and each planted with a 2.4m tall grafted Mt Fuji ornamental cherry (Prunus Mt Fuji). which create a solid canopy of shade in summer.