The essence of good design

Photos courtesy Matthew Mallett Photography.

Flanked by a golf course and fronted by a home office, Villa Essence is a balance in scenery and privacy.

The magnificent Warragul home is the pride and joy of builder Leigh Herbel, the principal of Herbel Constructions.

Leigh engaged Warren Jenkins of Narre Warren’s Design Unity to create a home from which he and his family could look out at the surrounding greens, but maintain privacy from the nearby putters.

Leigh said adding to this balance was the need for a home office where his clients would feel welcome and admire the home, without intruding on the rest of the residence.

Mirroring its foundations, the elegant home slopes downhill towards the golf course with south-facing views. Nestled into the land to match the slope, each level is seamless to the external landscape. Views to the green are selective and provide a manicured outlook with a focus on privacy and seclusion from the course.

The home’s outdoor sanctuary is its expansive central courtyard. Sheltered from harsh weather and shielded from outside eyes, the open pool and living space bathes in passive sunlight, bringing warmth in winter and shade in summer. The outdoor space connects the theatre, kitchen and dining areas to create a sunlit living space for entertaining friends and family.

The glazed office at the front of the home offers northern views, while subtly connecting the residence with the work zone. Situated at the entrance to the property, clients are welcomed into the home’s foyer and get a glimpse of the scale of the home without intruding in the sleeping or living quarters.

The hero of the home is its material palette. A rammed earth wall runs from the front through the property, providing a contemporary earthiness and sustainable temperature control. The wall acts as a thermal mass and a stable bank of energy year-round. Rich spotted gum timber and drystacked stone contrast exposed structural steel to create a home that feels at one with nature.

Villa Essence is a finalist in the 2019 Building Designers Association of Victoria awards in the Residential Design New House $1m-$3m category.

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