|Breathtaking sunsets at Aberdeen.|
The block of land is on the western side of the Highlands, and as such is a typically Australian landscape. Unlike a lot of the more familiar style of properties in the area, predominantly on the eastern side which have a higher rainfall and are much more English in their appearance, our property was characterised by broad, sweeping plains and undulating hills, characteristically Aussie bush with gum trees and long grasses, spectacular sunsets and sunrises, an abundance of wildlife, and great extremes of weather. At first I found this very confronting and harsh, at times oppressive and overwhelming, but I came to love the extraordinary beauty and grandeur of those early mornings and evenings, the expansive starlit skies and the utter stillness of night, when your ears ring for something to hear.
|Spectacular sunrises at Aberdeen.|
My husband and I originally envisioned a typical Australian country home with wide verandahs, weatherboards, tin roof and manicured gardens, but after we bought this property we realised something very different was needed. The landscape is beautiful, but also harsh, tough, dry and open. As such something more modern, robust and raw was required. So with our builder/designer we came up with a design that we felt addressed the needs of our family, our design ideas and the aesthetic of the land. What we ended up with fitted perfectly into the landscape.
We wanted a contemporary, country-industrial design with plenty of timber, steel, concrete and glass. This is what was got. The design consisted of a single concrete slab which afforded us fantastic polished concrete floors with underfloor hydronic heating. The skillion roof was covered in galvanised tin, and held up by huge timber beams (interiors post to follow). The house consisted of two sections: under the skillion roof section was the "great room", which housed the kitchen/living/dining area and the traditional pitched roof section, which had the four bedrooms and bathrooms. There were portions of the exterior which featured traditional painted weatherboard (actually made of composite concrete), but much of the house was rendered and painted in Murobond Bridge Paint, which has a fantastic metallic industrial finish.
In the posts to follow I will take you on a tour of the interiors and show you what else we did to create this wonderful country property.
All images by Melinda Hartwright for Georgica Pond.