A Geometric Pavilion House In The Goldfields

Architecture

Mark Simpson is an interior design expert (he’s a juror of the , being announced next week), and co-director at one of Australia’s most respected design practices, Melbourne-based .

He chats about designing a 100-square-metre geometric pavilion house in Chewton, just outside of Castlemaine Victoria, with his partner Maximillian. Hovering in native bushland site, this project required some creative problem solving (including some low-fi cardboard box modelling!) to create a distinctive and site-responsive home.

17th May, 2018

The 100-square-metre geometric pavilion designed by Mark and the DesignOffice team in Victoria’s Goldfield region. Photo – courtesy of .

The pavilion sits on an elevated site, surrounded by native bushland. Photo – courtesy of .

‘At less than 100-square-metre, it’s not a big house, but the main living area takes up about two thirds of this,’ Mark tells. Photo – courtesy of .

Kitchen details. Photo – courtesy of .

The sleek kitchen. Photo – courtesy of .

In-built sofa of your dreams. Photo – courtesy of .

The conversation pit – ‘It’s essentially a sunken put of upholstery where we can set up the projector and dive in.’ Photo – courtesy of .

Bedroom details. Photo – courtesy of .

The minimalist closet done right! Photo – courtesy of .

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 17th May 2018

With its small footprint and pared-back feel, the country retreat of interior architect Mark Simpson and his partner Max is unusually modest, for a regional home. After all, space isn’t exactly at a premium in regional Victoria, as far as we’re aware. And yet, Mark and Max have chosen to create a small, understated home here that offers the bare necessities required of a weekender – no more, and no less.

Built in 2011 in the Victorian town of Chewton, just outside Castlemaine, the home sits at less than 100-square-metres. But, with five-metre ceilings, windows on all sides, and central skylights, this is a home that feels much bigger than its deceptively modest footprint.

We speak with Mark about his architectural practice, DesignOffice, and the design of his unusually utilitarian weekender.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background, and pathway to ?

I studied Interior Architecture in Scotland in the late 1990s, in a course which combined interior environments, a full architecture degree and urban design. That holistic and human-focused approach has been at the forefront of my design approach since and is at the heart of the way Damien and I work together.

Can you describe your general design thinking and approach?

A lot of our approach focuses on the brief and is underpinned by the inherent problem solving required in design. We’re as interested in how spaces feel and function as much as how they look. The emotional connection we all have with environments is a complicated thing to make tangible and that’s fascinating to us.

What inspired you to build your regional sanctuary, and what are your favourite details about the pavilion home?

The house is in Chewton, on the edge of the bush, just outside Castlemaine. We built it in 2011 as a weekender after falling in love with the township and the site. It’s a low-key place with a strong community and a great pool and pub!

At less than 100-square-metres, it’s not a big house. With five-metre ceilings, daylight on all four sides, and central skylights, the space that feels much bigger than its floor area. When you open the doors it really feels like a pavilion in the landscape.

The conversation pit is probably our other favourite thing, my partner Max and I was talking of having one for years – it’s essentially a sunken pit of upholstery where we can set up the projector and dive in!

How do the interior and exterior of the pavilion house relate to each other?

We wanted it to be a contemporary form, yet one that has a relationship with its surroundings – where the building sits in its landscape as opposed to on it. The simple pitched roof and light grey cladding references the tin sheds and outbuildings in the surrounding area.

Did you encounter any challenges with this project?

It was a relatively simple build, to be honest, but getting it to look this simple was actually quite complicated! In the end, we made a cardboard model for the builder and worked with this to get the form right – we’re still a little analogue at DesignOffice!

Similar Stories

Roundup

2017 Australian Interior Design Awards · Residential Highlights

Our highlights from the Australian Interior Design Awards, announced earlier this month.

Roundup

Solutions for Living Small

Cancel those extension plans; we're sharing a selection of clever ideas for beautiful and functional compact spaces from the TDF archives.

Roundup

2018 Australian Interior Design Awards

Our highlights reel of lust-worthy residential interiors shortlisted for the prestigious Australian Interior Design Awards this year.

This Week

Art

New Work From The Sculptor Who's Gone Where None Have Gone Before

Inside the current exhibition from Andrew Rogers, the Australian responsible for the largest contemporary art undertaking on Earth.
Elle Murrell

On The Market

One Of Fitzroy’s Most Iconic Homes Is On The Market

Your chance to see inside (and maybe own!) the most intriguing house on the street!

Shopping

Doubling Down On Bedding With Milou Milou

Eco-luxe bedding created from re-purposed 'dead stock', in every colour you could dream of.
Miriam McGarry
45:53

Podcast

TDF Talks With Award-Winning Magazine Editor Justine Cullen

The mum-of-four reflects on her career, the state of the Australian fashion industry, and the future of magazine publishing.

In Print

A New Monograph Celebrating One Of Australia's Most Captivating Female Artists

As the new book series Mini Monographs hits shelves, we offer a look inside the first volume, honouring bold painter Del Kathryn Barton.
Sarah Darmody
  22 hours ago

Interiors

Stand-Out Kitchens To Inspire

Kitchen ideas and inspiration from our interiors columnist, Lauren Li.
Lauren Li

News

A Month-Long Third Drawer Down x David Shrigley Pop-Up

This decade-long collaboration between Melbourne’s kookiest gift store and the renowned artist is open for business!
Sally Tabart

News

Have You Ever Secretly Wondered…What IS Mid-Century Modern?

A visual guide to a celebrated era of design ‘From A To Eames’ by Lauren Whybrow and illustrations by Tom Jay.
Miriam McGarry

Studio Visit

New Work From A Favourite Local Artist, Super-Charged With Colour + Pattern

Melbourne-based artist Gavin Brown opens a new exhibition of works today, inspired by the sights, flavours, and moods of travels through Asi...
Elle Murrell
  8 hours ago

Architecture

Grand Designs From The Small Island

Announcing the shortlist for the 2019 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

News

An Inner City Steal – This Boutique Townhouse Could Be Yours!

Architect Lisa Breeze is putting her PERFECTLY LOCATED/expertly renovated apartment on the market!
Sally Tabart

Architecture

The Ultimate Heritage Restoration Project, On Remote Bruny Island

John Wardle Architects masterfully restore Captain James Kelly's 175-year-old cottage off Tasmania's South Coast.

Sustainability

These Australian-Made Blankets Close The Loop On Textile Industry Waste

Sustainable start-up Seljak turns textile offcuts bound for landfill into high-quality merino blankets, at the country’s last remaining wo...
Elle Murrell

Studio Visit

Exquisite Portraits And Still Life Paintings From Fiona O'Byrne

The landscape architect and painter shares her meticulously detailed portraits and still life works.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

A Sustainable Home, Designed To Connect To Community

The sunny and generous renovation of a California Bungalow in Northcote, by Gardiner Architects.
Miriam McGarry
  24 hours ago

Similar Stories

Roundup

2017 Australian Interior Design Awards · Residential Highlights

Our highlights from the Australian Interior Design Awards, announced earlier this month.

Roundup

Solutions for Living Small

A selection of our favourite functional, compact spaces from the TDF archives.

Roundup

2018 Australian Interior Design Awards

Our highlights reel of lust-worthy residential interiors shortlisted for the prestigious Australian Interior Design Awards this year.
maxformer.com/kartoteki-i-faylovyye-shkafy