Trentham is a slow-paced kind of place. Nestled atop the Great Dividing Range 100km north of Melbourne, this once-upon-a-time gold mining town is now a quiet country escape whose inhabitants relish its crisp, cool country air and quiet, traffic-free streets. It’s only appropriate then that visiting Trentham Long House is akin to stepping back in time. Indeed, the house is a delicately balanced moment between old-fashioned simplicity and the conveniences of contemporary life.

Located within a recent semi-rural development on the periphery of the town, the project brief was to design an energy efficient, low maintenance single dwelling on a large, north-facing site for a retired couple, their visiting children, and grand children. The clients wanted a home that would sit well within its local and historical context, provide a comfortable and easy home year round, and also adapt to accommodate large family gatherings scattered throughout the year.

Surrounded to the north, east, and west at reasonably close proximity by neighbouring properties and to the south by a main road, Trentham Long House is positioned centrally on the block, with almost equal parts rear and front garden. The design contends with the precarious task of maximising idyllic views whilst maintaining privacy by retreating from its boundaries. Its careful placement enhances selected vistas whilst also defining a quiet, private realm set back from the public face of the street.

Photos by Anthony Basheer

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