Resident architecture expert, David Hallett from Ask An Architect, gives us his opinion on the Dynyrnne Curved House from Episode 10, Season 4 of Grand Designs Australia.
If ever you need proof of the power of a building to move people, listen again to Col and Jane tell the story of their home. The building has been built by family, with family, for family and the journey has been an emotional one.
Building a home – let alone one with a free-form, organic plan – is no small undertaking and to successfully undertake it as a novice is remarkable. Col’s quiet determination to realize their vision and to provide a haven for his family has taken them all on a voyage of discovery that transcends mere construction.
It has taken them to a special place. It’s a place of mystery, with sinuously curved walls leading eye and mind through a network of novel rooms and vistas. It’s a place of beauty, with natural timber and stone forming connections with the landscape.
Above all, it’s a place of spirituality, with the hub of the home – the living space – literally conceived as the heart of the building to reflect the owner’s regard for family and community. Into their broad view of society and our responsibilities to each other they have also incorporated a commitment to sustainability. By terracing the hillside they have trodden lightly on the land and by employing local materials they have minimized their impact on the environment.
This is clearly a home built with a sincere commitment to people and place, but from a design perspective it’s also a place with some unfulfilled potential.
Steep rural sites lend themselves to soaring ceilings, dynamic forms and sweeping views...eyries that reflect the majesty of their surroundings. This house is a ‘wedding cake’ with a beautifully conceived plan that’s been lovingly built, however it’s very much a two-dimensional building.
It’s a shame the designer didn’t think outside the heart-shaped box to create volumes of inspiration and wonder, because I reckon Col and his clan could have built anything.