A thing of stone and wood in the bush

VIEWS FOR MILES: Nestled into the dense bushland of Bowen Mountain, the house is set on a steep block in an elevated rural region adjoining the Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Murray Fredericks
VIEWS FOR MILES: Nestled into the dense bushland of Bowen Mountain, the house is set on a steep block in an elevated rural region adjoining the Blue Mountains National Park. Photo: Murray Fredericks

Many builders would look at the site of the 'House in the Bush', and think, "No way."

Nestled into the dense bushland of Bowen Mountain, the house is set on a steep block in an elevated rural region adjoining the Blue Mountains National Park, with views back to Sydney.

The topography and natural spring water veins allow dense vegetation to flourish, with limited area on which to build.

The topography and natural spring water veins allow dense vegetation to flourish.

But when CplusC Architectural Workshop encountered the block in 2004, they decided they were up for the challenge.

A significant masonry retaining wall was located along the slope, forming a defining terrace edge - and providing opportunities of prospect and views toward the city.

The geometry of the existing timber slab hut was then used to form the basis of the setout grid for the new works.

This established depth was extended with a site-welded frame of slender steel structure, forming the primary structure of the pavilion.

Working with the angles of the sun, the roof structure is tilted to catch the last of the afternoon sun in winter, before it sets behind the mountain backdrop. The roof gestures toward the north-west, creating a dynamic building form that responds to the immediate site, and lights up like a beacon at night.

Working the angles: The roof structure is tilted to catch the last of the afternoon sun in winter. Photo: Murray Fredericks

Working the angles: The roof structure is tilted to catch the last of the afternoon sun in winter. Photo: Murray Fredericks

Courtyards and ponds are placed within the planning of the pavilion to provide framed views through to the east, and allow breezes to penetrate the building, cooling the spaces in summer.

Large glazed sliding doors open the internal spaces out onto the terrace, with the Brazilian slate floor finish carried through to the terrace.

Internally, the planning is based around a large double sided open fireplace, with service spaces placed to the back of the plan featuring low ceilings providing a sense of retreat.

The bathroom is obscured behind glazed sliding panels, offering versatility in use dependent on the occupants' desires.

Photo: Murray Fredericks

Photo: Murray Fredericks

A bedroom loft is provided to the main pavilion, with a generous private terrace located to provide views back toward the city.

Extending beyond the main pavilion, a 110,000 L water tank is buried into the site, providing a reliable source of potable water to the dwelling.

Concealing the in-ground tank, a pool house, sauna and cabana provide additional relaxation space around a 25 metre pool, which lifts gently out of the site,

Photo: Murray Fredericks

Photo: Murray Fredericks

The structural steel frame was onsite-welded prior to shot blasting and finishing in a two part epoxy coating. Both new and recycled Australian hardwoods were then used to frame the steel, with western red cedar doors and windows used extensively to complete the space.

This fenestration also provides connection from inside to outside, cross-ventilation, views and spatial flexibility.

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