BARWON Heads’ coastal environment provides the blueprint for residential development in the popular hotspot, the designer of an award-winning townhouse project said.
Holman Designs building designer Guy Holman said creating the townhouses that appeared as one dwelling and choosing a natural product like charred timber helped fit in with Barwon Heads’ coastal environment.
MORE READING: Maps show Geelong’s real estate hotspots
The town has become a development hotspot recently as repeated attempts to expand the residential boundaries have been thwarted.
“The best way we approached our design was to not think of it as a multi-residential design as such but one set of townhouses which looked like one dwelling,” he said.
But Mr Holman said the selection of materials was key to the project, dubbed Same but Different, which took out a Building Designers Association of Victoria Award for Multi-Residential recently.
The dwelling’s site was within walking distance of the beach and main street, with a significant eucalypt tree framing the front of the property.
The 6.5m high facade used charred timber, plus a rammed earth internal feature wall to tie in the environment.
“You really have got to consider the surrounds and the environment because it is such a beautiful place,” Mr Holman said.
“You can quite easily achieve that — often you see large homes and developments down there that don’t meet that brief. They use urban materials when they should be considering timbers and more earthy colours to blend in with the eucalypts and the sand.”
Mr Holman said local suppliers now offered a great range of materials.
“Timber in the end doesn’t appeal to everybody, but in saying that I think it’s the best material to use in Barwon Heads to meet the streetscape appeal and blending in with all the trees and the surrounds.
“The beauty of this project was everything was local — the builder, the suppliers, the trades were all local. Hence, how well it came together and the result speaks for itself.”
A building designer since 2002, Mr Holman started Holman Designs three years ago.
He said Geelong had a strong community of designers and builders.
“I think it comes off the back of having Deakin and the Gordon in town
“There’s designers coming out of there each year and they’re very talented.
“That gets back to the quality of teaching too, which is quite strong but there’s also a lot of quality builders too.
“The custom builders in the region are all generally exceptional, the colleagues of mine and deal with, I know their work is the highest quality.”