This eco house on the Mornington Peninsula uses cutting-edge design to disappear into the wilderness around it

This eco house on the Mornington Peninsula uses cutting-edge design to disappear into the wilderness around it
The architects designed the roof of CLT house with windows to expose the interior to the natural world. (Credit: Diana Snape)
  • CLT House, built in 2019, was designed to combine innovative architectural techniques with an immersion with the natural world.
  • It uses Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), which allows architects to design large spanning timber structures that expose the construction of the building.
  • The result is a sawtooth roof that creates a dramatic silhouette against the surrounding bushland.
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This eco house on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria was designed using innovative building materials that enabled the architects to design a dramatic structure that’s also environmentally conscious.

The materials used to design CLT House, as it’s known, removes the barrier between the exterior of the building and the interior, resulting in dramatic spaces. 

“Daily experiences are elevated beyond ritual to full immersion with nature, the timber interior bringing a constant calm and soothing experience,” Fiona Dunin, the lead architect on the project by FMD Architects, told Business Insider Australia.

The house seeks to bridge architectural vision and sustainable construction methods by making sustainability part of the design.

“It was this material that drove the design; a material that could be fully expressed throughout the home, revealing its structure,” Dunin said.

The sawtooth roof is covered with solar panels and windows that capture the changing light throughout the day.

Ten metres of the home’s walls also use long slot windows that allow for cross ventilation and bring more of the outside world into the interior space. 

The pitched roofs use motorised ventilation slots integrated into the building to release heat in summer and reduce reliance on air conditioning. 

The project reimagined an existing building dating from the ‘70s for a multigenerational family to live under one roof — with a bridge that connects private rooms to an expansive shared space.

The bridge acts as a pivot point between the existing ground floor and the new CLT extension, Dunin said. 

Lighting is integrated into the ceiling beams and walls, minimising additional decorative elements and distractions from the building itself.

The views from inside the house are continuously changing throughout the day and seasons, with windows bringing the natural world in at multiple levels.

“Each triangular window offers its own unique view of the treetops and sky,” Dunin said, “while the lower slot windows offer surprising glimpses at a smaller scale of the local flora and fauna.”

The interior also uses CLT timber, exposing the structure on the walls and floors, as well as bookshelves, desks and a bar that are built into the house itself.

Creating furniture that was part of the structural build demanded “absolute precision,” Dunin said. 

The engineer’s screw connections were left exposed to showcase the intricacies of how the timber fits together, a feature that expands to the bookshelves, desks, doors and bar units are all made from the same materials. 

A large space in the centre of the eco house serves as a bridge to different wings of the five-bedroom home, which has views out onto nearby Western Port Bay.

This central location, which spans the different wings of the house “allows all three generations to come together,” Dunin said. 

The architectural firm worked closely with the client to create a home where “typical daily experiences are elevated beyond ritual,” the architect said.

FMD Architects, which has worked closely with the property’s owners on previous projects, applied a “rigorous design response” to the client’s specifications for the eco house, Dunin said.

They wanted the build to not only apply cutting-edge design practices and materials, but also a dedication to integrating the surrounding bushland into the built space.