‘Elemental House’ is an exquisite off-the-grid Aussie retreat designed by Ben Callery Architects. Situated on a rugged hillside just fifteen minutes outside of Kilmore, Victoria, the impressive estate is surrounded by 100-acres of property making it the perfect spot for sublime solitude.
This simple yet modern weekend getaway home was created for a semi-retired couple in mind. Owners Sue and Jim originally gave architect Ben Callery rough sketches of what they wanted, but after Callery went to the proposed site he drew up new plans for the home that the Melbourne residents quickly fell in love with.
Callery’s take on the weekend retreat keeps the stunning views of the bush surroundings while incorporating important elements to keep the home safe from bushfires, heavy winds and the hot Australian heat.
A polished concrete floor retains heat during the winter while the rectangle-shaped overhanging roof is modelled on the traditional Akubra, providing shade from the harsh summer sun.
The one-bedroom, bathroom and living room abode also features large operable windows that can be opened to provide ventilation through the open floor plan, with a high glazing standard used to protect against forceful winds.
The interiors are heavy with tonality, such as wood-lined ceilings and smoky timber furnishings that are paired with black and white surfaces to reflect the dry conditions of the property. Minimalist in appearance, the home is totally self-sufficient, producing its own power via solar panels, collecting water in large water tanks and treating its own waste on-site.
Many of the creature comforts you would expect with a holiday home like this are absent; the television is replaced by a modern fireplace and other luxurious amenities are kept to the bare minimum. The main feature of the home is a freestanding bathtub offering spectacular views of the rolling countryside, making Elemental House a minimalist’s dream escape.