Southern Highlands House
Gillian Simon has been the Regional Manager for Intermode in NSW for over twelve years. In 2013 Gillian, and her husband Darren, also an architect, purchased just over five hectares of rural land in Exeter in the Southern Highlands. Gillian and Darren built the first Intermode house in NSW on the site.
The couple enjoy expansive views north over surrounding farmland and south to their olive grove.
Their brief was for a simple contemporary house. A place that was low maintenance and a residence that was in contrast to their heritage listed harbourside apartment in Sydney. The simple rectangular floor plan features two bedrooms, with the main bedroom, ensuite and home office located at one end. A guest bedroom and ensuite at the other. The open plan kitchen, dining and living areas separate the two.
The master bedroom suite features a sitting area and a desk built into the spine wall.
As with many Intermode designs, this house features generous floor-to-ceiling glazing, evocative of Philip Johnson’s ‘Glasshouse’.
Simply finished polished concrete floors and white-painted joinery, treated as one continuous ‘spine’, the design allows the views to remain the hero.
Even the European-style laundry is concealed behind this bank of cupboards. Spotted gum timber was used for the outdoor decking and allowed to weather to a soft grey.
The relatively narrow profile of the design means that winter sun permeates the house during the colder months of the year. “We rarely have to heat the house in winter as the sun does that for us,” says Gillian. Deep eves protect the interior from the northern sun in summer and cross ventilation cools the house during the hotter months. “We’re also fortunate that the expansive rural views and northern orientation align” adds Gillian.
Stained Timber Panel