Wood Marsh creates rammed-earth Peninsula House on Australian coast


Architecture studio Wood Marsh has used curving walls of charred timber and rammed earth to create this home south of Melbourne, which is designed to echo Australia’s “windswept” coastline.

Called Peninsula House, the dwelling is located near the town of Flinders, overlooking the Bass Strait and surrounded by farmland.

Sculptural Peninsula House in Melbourne with rammed earth walls
Peninsula House has a curved form crafted from rammed earth

Instead of designing an orthogonal volume, Wood Marsh took cues from the shape of the coastline and the meandering paths leading to the site.

This gives rise to a curving form with long “arms” that wrap a driveway and swimming pool terrace.

Sculptural Peninsula House by Wood Marsh
Its design is informed by the shape of Australia’s coastline

“In elevation, the form of the house takes its reference from the prehistoric Bass Strait coastline,” founding partner Randal Marsh told Dezeen.

“The exterior texture reflects that windswept, weather-beaten form, whilst also referring to an organic mammal, reminiscent of whale carcasses which often wash up on the beach,” he continued.

Rammed earth wall of a house in Melbourne by Wood Marsh
The rammed-earth walls are left exposed throughout the home

Peninsula House’s entrance leads into an atrium, which is organised around a small central courtyard wrapped by full-height glazing.

Here, green planting creates a strong contrast to both the surrounding landscape and the monochrome interiors, where the home’s rammed-earth structure is left exposed in some areas.

Directly to the south of the central courtyard is a double-height living, kitchen and dining space overlooking the eastern terrace and landscape through large windows and from a first-floor balcony.

“At the core of the interior is the internal garden. This was designed to be in strong contrast to the powerful, windswept exterior landscape,” said Marsh. “It serves to accentuate and frame the view as if it were a living artwork.”

Black home interior with an atrium by Wood Marsh
The home features a central courtyard

Hallways lead to bedroom and recreation areas in each of the home’s two narrow wings, including a purpose-built recording studio to the north.

Throughout, dark stone floors, black wooden panelling and black tilework in the bathrooms reflect the charred timber of the exterior, contrasted by white walls and ceilings that bring a feeling of openness to the living area.

Black living room with curvaceous walls and ceiling
Wood Marsh finished Peninsula House with a dark monochrome interior

“The black interior palette reflects the forms and detailing of the exterior charred timber,” explained Marsh.

“There is an emphasis on the shifting nature of light and shadow along curving surfaces and forms of walls and openings,” he added.

Wood Marsh was founded in 1983 by Roger Wood and Randal Marsh. Previous projects by the studio include a curving apartment block in Melbourne and a golf club in Point Lonsdale with sweeping concrete walls that emerge from the surrounding coastal dunes.

The photography is by Timothy Kaye.



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