This house sited at top vineyard hill in Yarra Valley, Australia about 1 hour from Melbourne. Designed by Denton Corker Marshall, the house combines two simple rectilinear volumes, one balancing perpendicularly atop the other and cantilevering 29 feet to the south and 19 to the north. Inside the house, the bars are divided into simple boxlike rooms according to “service blocks.” The living and dining area on the ground floor and the main office on the second floor look out over the vineyard to the north. The bedrooms contained in each end of the lower bar and the southern end of the upper bar amplify views of the valley and the surrounding mountains.
Description from Denton Corker Marshall
“The Yarra Valley was originally settled as a series of farms strung out along the tracks through the valley on either side of the river. Yering Station and Gulf Station, for example, still exist as heritage buildings, but View Hill is identifiable only as an isolated hill abutting the historic Yarra Track with magnificent views of the whole valley. The 60-hectare site was progressively developed as a premium cool climate vineyard from 1996 to 2004 and now has around 32 hectares of vines. A site for a house was identified at the top of the hill looking north over the vineyard but also taking in view all around.
The stick sitting on the ground is made of rusting steel whilst the stick sitting on right angles on top and cantilevering impossibly is made from black aluminium. The sticks read as very thin metal tubes with glass inset at each end. The reading of the tubes is reinforced inside by their lining with a grey green stained OSB board – on the upper level its walls, ceilings and even the floor is lined – at ground level the floor is charcoal polished concrete. The ground level tube is 6m x 4m in cross-section so that the ceiling heights are 3.2m, the upper tube is 4m x 3m with 2.4m ceilings.
Ground floor uses are centred around a living, dining, kitchen space – with bedrooms at either end. Upstairs two offices and another guest bedroom complete the primary spaces. Planning is therefore very simple – presenting controlled views out from each end of the tubes and then by raising three panels on the side of the lower tube so that the living area looks out over the vineyard. The mountains containing the valley on all sides offer a dramatic backdrop.”