Dame of Melba by Seeley Architects
Seeley Architects have designed a contemporary, two-story residence in the town of Angelsea in Victoria, Australia. This home was designed to fit the needs of a retired married couple. Built right on the coast, the main goal of the design was to capture as much of the beautiful views as possible, so there is plenty of open space created using lots of glazed surfaces that simply open the Dame of Melba up to the outside.
The Dame of Melba is a weekend holiday residence for a retired couple, set into a hillside overlooking the rugged Anglesea coastline. Exposed and in a harsh, salty environment, materials that weather well over time and require minimal maintenance were key selection criteria.
The house is dug into the sloping site with dynamic cantilevered spaces overhanging the earth. The exterior of the house is clad in locally sourced timber boards for their beautiful weathering characteristics. The facade will slowly transform into a silvery grey driftwood colour, with subtle textural variations complimenting the surrounding native vegetation. Massive granite filled gabion walls retain the hillside and form the boundary of the carport hidden beneath one of the branching cantilevers.
Entry to the residence is from beneath one such cantilever, through a Gallery space that leads to a staircase and up into the open plan kitchen and living area. The lower level is reserved as sleeping quarters for family and guests. Decks to the north and east branch off the Living area. Sliding timber screens wrap around the Northern deck providing privacy from neighbours and shading from the sun, with the added benefit of beautiful patterned light being cast internally. Internal linings are drawn outward, with sustainably grown Hoop Pine plywood ceiling panels evolving into external soffit linings. The owners also entertain on the eastern deck, enjoy the coastal views and remain protected from the harsh winds by a massive south facing glazed sliding door. The Master Bedroom sits adjacent to the Living area and enjoys elevated coastal views and the first glimpses of approaching visitors.