pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype

modern abstraction of an australian farmhouse

 

Atop a quiet hill in the Australian state of Victoria, Michael Lumby Architecture and Nielsen Jenkins nestle a masonry retreat into a 50 acre property. Named Merricks Farmhouse, the rural and ecologically-sensitive refuge is a modern abstraction of the Australian farmhouse archetype. With a material palette comprising charred timber and thick neutral stone, color tones gently blend in with views of vineyards to elicit a sense of calm and intimacy at every corner. The consideration of the relationship between architecture and nature is what gives Merricks Farmhouse its comfortable ambiance. 

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype
Michael Lumby Architecture and Nielsen Jenkins settles Merricks Farmhouse in Victoria, Australia

all images by Tom Ross

 

 

ecologically sensitive refuge by Michael Lumby & Nielsen Jenkins

 

The two Australian firms of Michael Lumby Architecture (see more here) and Nielsen Jenkins (and here) combined their expertise to realize the ecologically-conscious escape amid the hilly context. The single-story building spills out, naturally rising and falling with Mornington Peninsula’s undulating landscape. Hefty masonry walls, one meter in thickness, with deep eave overhangs and dark ceiling finishes, further enhance the safe feeling of the fort-like refuge. The built volume encompasses skylights and large openings which frame floor-to-ceiling greenery.

 

Keeping with the ecological approach, Merricks Farmhouse’s domestic water supply is captured by the large, singular roof and stored in circular concrete water tanks. This feature of farming infrastructure is taken through the entire project as a motif and used throughout the garden spaces as birdbaths, a fire pit, and a series of ponds, each becoming points of reference within the landscape.

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype
floorplan oriented around a central courtyard

 

 

a central courtyard offers shelter at Merricks Farmhouse

 

While the hilltop site affords beautiful views, it also leaves the structure exposed to the region’s harsh coastal climate. Dealing with this gave prominence to the ‘most important room in the house‘; the internal courtyard. The introspective focal point contains a lush, landscaped garden that breathes light, air, and connection into the interior spaces. Organic pavers guide occupants around the rustic garden, allowing for an immersion in nature while still being protected from the climactic elements. 

 

The Merricks Farmhouse project by Michael Lumby Architecture and Nielsen Jenkins won the Award for Residential Architecture in the 2023 Victorian Architecture Awards, organized by The Australian Institute of Architects.

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype
the relationship between architecture and nature gives Merricks Farmhouse a comfortable ambiance

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype
the home allows for an immersion in nature while still being protected from the climactic elements

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype
the color tones blend with views of surrounding vineyards to elicit a sense of calm

farmhouse_fullsize_01

circular concrete watertank is used around the entire project as a motif

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype
the material palette composes charred-timber and thick neutral stone

pairing timber & stone, merricks farmhouse is a modern nod to australia's rural archetype
the rural refuge is a modern abstraction of the Australian farmhouse archetype

farmhouse_fullsize_02

domestic water supply is captured by the large, singular roof and stored in circular concrete water tank

 

 

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the built volume encompasses large openings which frame floor-to-ceiling greenery
the built volume encompasses large openings which frame floor-to-ceiling greenery
thick masonry walls give the home a fort-like quality
thick masonry walls give the home a fort-like quality
Merricks Farmhouse floorplan
Merricks Farmhouse floorplan
Merricks Farmhouse site plan
Merricks Farmhouse site plan
Merricks Farmhouse section
Merricks Farmhouse section
site model
site model
Merricks Farmhouse model
Merricks Farmhouse model
Merricks Farmhouse model
Merricks Farmhouse model

project info:

 

name: Merricks Farmhouse

location: Victoria, Australia 

architects: Michael Lumby Architecture | @michael_lumby_architectureNielsen Jenkins | @nielsen.jenkins

builders: Atma Builders

engineering: Westera Partners

landscape design: Franchesca Watson Garden Designer, Robyn Barlow Garden Design

landscape: Julian McCarthy Landscapes

photographer: Tom Ross | @tomross.xyz

area: 640 sqm

year: 2021

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