Black Quail

I've got to find a way to escape the horrible ravages of youth. Suddenly, I'm going to the bathroom like clockwork, every three hours. And those jerks at Social Security stopped sending me checks. Now 'I'' have to pay ''them'! OK, this has gotta stop. I'm going to remind Fry of his humanity the way only a woman can.And when we woke up, we had these bodies. Good man. Nixon's pro-war and pro-family. But I know you in the future. I cleaned your poop. Ummm…to eBay? Oh yeah, good luck with that.You guys realize you live in a sewer, right? Man, I'm sore all over. I feel like I just went ten rounds with mighty Thor. Oh no! The professor will hit me! But if Zoidberg 'fixes' it… then perhaps gifts!And then the battle's not so bad? The alien mothership is in orbit here. If we can hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes will fall like a house of cards. Checkmate. Now, now. Perfectly symmetrical violence never solved anything.
photo : Simon Wilson
2021 HOME magazine - HOME of the year

On a site dotted with wild thyme and rosehip, and located within historic mining tailings in a craggy, dry and at times inhospitable landscape, this house needed protection from the elements without hiding from its extraordinary surroundings.

With this in mind we wedged the house into the hillside (like the former stone miners huts still visible further up the valley) and opened up views to the river below and to the family’s vineyard above.

A courtyard located to the south of the main living area has dictated a typically orthogonal floor plan, offering an essential, secondary, protected exterior area and an opportunity to grow a lush garden, directly contrasting the harsh environment outside. Smaller courtyards to the east and west offer varying extended living scenarios and enhance the transparency throughout the building.

Inspired by the rocky terrain, precast concrete walls have been chosen as the main form of wall construction. A gentle sloped roof covered with shingle from the site accentuates the idea that the house is firmly imbedded in the landscape. Stone from site interspersed with precast concrete creatse the outlying walls. Weathered steel cladding around the entry and garage make up the exterior palette, while to the interior wood paneling and wooden joinery items offer a warmer contrast to the robust exterior.

Photography by Simon Devitt (unless credited otherwise)
photo : Simon Wilson