The Fairhaven Residence is an example of award-winning, contemporary coastal architecture in a bushfire-prone environment.
Nestled in an area of landscape significance on an elevated site in Fairhaven, a Victorian seaside town on the Great Ocean Road, the residence is designed to capture both the ocean view across Fairhaven towards the ocean, and the surrounding bushland.
Utilising expanses of glazing to maintain this connection with the landscape, every room has a view, with the main living and kitchen orientated towards the ocean in one direction and the Split Point Lighthouse in the other. Areas of retreat including the bedrooms, study and courtyard are oriented towards the bushland.
The residence was designed to meet the requirements of Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) 40. This required substantial vegetation clearances and non-combustible external materials. Our challenge was to overcome these restrictions without destroying the indigenous vegetation and finely tuning the selection of external materials
The solidity of the dark metal cladding and expanses of glazing contrast the lightness and openness of the interior. Accented by the use of sandstone and timber throughout, the muted interior palette frames the view and compliments the landscape.
Being used intermittently, the house needed to be accessed remotely via telephone apps to control entry for maintenance personnel and to activate the roof mounted fire sprinklers via a fire fighting pump connected to the local tank water.
Surrounded by a rustic garden incorporating native grass trees and locally indigenous shrubs that surround the house, the project is finely textured with varied foliage creating privacy where needed and enhancing view corridors to the ocean
This project was our third engagement for these clients. Full scope architectural services were provided.
Photography: Courtesy Larkin Drought