Daylesford Longhouse by Partners Hill named 2019 Australian House of the Year

There are muliple living and working area in the house. Photos: Rory Gardiner
There are muliple living and working area in the house. Photos: Rory Gardiner

A 110-metre farmhouse 'shed' in Daylesford has been voted Australian House of the Year at the 2019 Houses Awards.

The Daylesford Longhouse, by architect Partners Hill, is touted as a 'garden oasis' set atop sprawling acreage and provides an innovative model for rural living.

In a press release, jurors said the journey through the 110-metre-long shed took you from the working farm to the cosy living quarters, with layers of mature trees, vines and other plants growing in all the spaces between.

While each part of the building performs a different function - working farm, cooking school and living quarters - the design is such that you lose track of whether you are inside or outside.

"It is a sanctuary for retreat and seclusion, but can be easily transformed into a place for large groups to explore and enjoy," the award judges said.

"This home is the Australian House of the Year for the commitment by the architect and client to the design intent, their innovative approach to a relatively complex brief and its joyful collection of architectural expressions.

The shed can be opened up completely when weather permits.

The shed can be opened up completely when weather permits.

"The opportunity to create a generous volume within a singular footprint is cleverly exploited and the timber and brick buildings within the shed form an internal terrain.

"The contrast between the scale and character of the industrial building and the craft and detail of the internal structures is unexpected, yet delightful.

"The scale of the shed responds to the expansive landscape setting, but once you're inside it shifts to the human scale, making it a comfortable space in which to live and work."

The judges said although the project was more than 1000m2 in size, the footprint of the living quarters was only a small proportion of this space and the majority of the floor area was given over to a leafy, productive garden.

The shed structure creates a microclimate that protects the productive garden from the harsh climatic conditions and can be opened up completely as weather permits.

The building also won the New House over 200m2 category.

"The modular way that the Daylesford Longhouse is pieced together gives the impression that the shed might be extended in the future to contain more garden or accommodation spaces. This project is inventive in every way and would be a delight to inhabit," the judges said.

Landscaped berms soften the view of the house.

Landscaped berms soften the view of the house.

"The consolidation of multiple uses into a single structure is compelling. The project explores opportunities for volume within its form and the discovery of terrain inside makes it all the more exciting," 2019 juror and Kennedy Nolan principal Rachel Nolan said.

Other projects to receive accolades included a converted brick substation, a renovated 1860s sandstone cottage and a sustainable garden hideaway.

Bark Architects co-director and 2019 juror Lindy Atkin said "This year's winning projects are...much more about place-making and space-making than they are about form-making, which is a really good thing.

"They respect what has come before them, particularly in the alteration and addition and heritage categories."

The Houses Awards, in its ninth year, recognise the ability to challenge architectural norms and explore the meaning of 'home'.