Moonah House by Powell and Glenn Architects and Watts Studio

  • Moonah House takes cues from the existing and established Moonah Honey-myrtle trees occupying the site, bringing a matched sense of inviting and encasing warmth internally. Powell and Glenn Architects join forces with Watts Studio to carefully craft a responsive language in a home that sits comfortably in its naturally abundant surroundings.

    As a keen collaboration from the outset, the architectural, interior design and landscape teams laboured to develop cohesive principles that would connect the inserted form naturally within the existing. In its remote and removed Mornington Peninsula locale, the Moonah House becomes a retreat that maintains a biophilic sense of calm was imperative to the ensuing narrative.

    As a sculptural feature in place, the generous limestone fireplace within the living area acts as a warming and textural pull for its residents.

    The singular story form navigates the gently sloping site as a nod to the 1960’s beach houses of the area and takes cues from modernist principles of openness. Internally, each of the spaces intentionally flows to the next throughout its L-shaped floor-plan, with considered apertures and sight-lines directly connecting the interior experience with the surrounding landscape.

    Aligning on a north-eastern axis across the site, block-work and stone walls transition to, through and out to the curated garden settings. The encasing of the home in such darkened timber battens ensures a subdued and recessive form is inserted in place, sensitively among the more formal and natural foliage that surrounds.

    Handmade elements are a key feature in the home, with custom cladding wrapping the exterior form and interior elements showcasing a heightened level of craft. Junctions between a tonally muted palette ensure intended longevity and robustness throughout, bound by quality and attuned attention to detail. As the owner’s secondary home, the materiality also provides a reduced level of maintenance.

    The core aim of Moonah House was to be both transportive and restive, taking residents and visitors away from the urban familiarity. Through extensive glazing and operable elements, a natural immersion occurs, where thresholds between inside and out feel dissolved. Powell and Glenn Architects and Watts Studio have together conjured a home that both responds to place and becomes a consistent reminder of its remoteness.

    Select and curated openings direct views out to the surroundings, bringing the natural in while softly casting sharded shadows internally.

    Immersion among the landscape becomes a key defining feature of the home, reinforcing a sense of escape and retreat.

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