This glass, steel and sandstone pavilion close to Sydney protrudes in excess of the edge of a natural dam to develop a closer connection with its surroundings .

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

The pavilion was developed by Australian architect Matthew Woodward for his family’s 32-hectare estate in Somersby, one particular hour north of Sydney.

Named Wirra Willa Pavilion, it takes its title from the Australian indigenous word wirrawilla, which means green tree.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

The building cantilevers 2.5 metres more than a all-natural spring-fed dam to provide occupants a much better see of the water, and is also surrounded by mature gardens.


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“The objective of this venture was genuinely about a celebration of the landscape and place,” Woodward told Dezeen.

“The balance of grounding and floating the pavilion in its setting emphasises the emphasis on the rural landscape. The pavilion isn’t going to seek out to overplay its part in this scene.”

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

Woodward created the layout whilst he was completing the last year of his architecture MA, after getting spurred by discussions with his family.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

“We frequently spoke about distinct options to be explored on the property in the course of walks,” he said. “This portion of the backyard was unique to us due to the fact of its seclusion and prospect, so the notion of building a pavilion here grew to become quite compelling.”

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

The 72-square-metre pavilion is accompanied by a 36-square-metre external courtyard, generating a retreat and entertainment room for the family and their visitors.

The constructing comprises a glazed construction, with a spa and living space located in the end that cantilevers in excess of the water. The bedroom sits on the opposite side, while a smaller structure in the middle encloses a bathroom, kitchen and storage space.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

Flexibility was intrinsic to the style of the rooms. The bed folds up into a wall so that the bedroom can also be used as a secondary, a lot more sheltered living area.

The spa can be concealed with timber panels to create an unbroken stretch of floor in the living spot, while glazed screens slide back to open the area up in summer.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

“The orientation of the pavilion to the north-east captures the sun and responds to prevailing winds,” explained Woodward.

“In the warmer months, the sliding glass panels open up to allow for all-natural cross ventilation, whilst in winter the thermal mass of the supplies within conducts heat from the sun to develop a reasonably consistent inner climate.”

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

A 2nd shower was added in a discreet corner outdoors to give the household and visitors yet another possibility to interract with the surroundings.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

The constructing took roughly eight months to construct. A composite steel frame was utilized for the major structure, with a concrete slab for the floor and roof, while concrete blockwork was employed for the smaller inner core.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

“The concrete-slab ceiling adds to the drama of the cantilever,” explained Woodward.

“By drawing the eye up, it inadvertently reinforces the feeling that the pavilion is floating over the ground, the dam, and the vegetation. Additionally, in-situ concrete is innately textural and full of memory, whilst also possessing the impact of getting quite minimal and exact.”

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

Within, organic and local components had been chosen to support the pavilion truly feel a lot more rooted in its setting. The flooring is tallowwood, a native Eucalypt species, favoured for its sturdiness in the spa region, as properly as its constant grain and blonde colour.

The inner core is clad in Somersby white sandstone, which is quarried locally and has a neutral, steady look.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

Hoop-pine plywood was employed for the developed-in bedroom furniture and the walls of the bathroom and storage places.

“It produces a sense of warmth and intimacy in this small inner core, even though contributing to the total effect of restraint and minimalism,” stated Woodward.

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

Woodward describes the construction as “a Miesian-inspired glass pavilion” – referencing the function of 20th century Modernist architect Mies van der Rohe – but also cites a lot more contemporary influences such as Japanese architect Kengo Kuma in the style.

“Kuma has a distinctive capability to create rational varieties that that are intangibly correct to spot and the haptic sense,” he added. “The integrity of his use of resources, structure, and ambiance to reply to setting, programme, memory, and the human entire body, was a precedent in the ongoing layout procedure during this project.”

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward Architecture

Photography is by Peter and Jenny Hyatt.


Task credits

Project team: Matthew Woodward, Benjamin White
Builder: Glenn Cochran, Cochran Constructions
Structural engineer: Halcrow &amp Associates
Landscape advisor: Michael Cooke Backyard Layout
Land surveyor: Stephen Thorne &amp Associates
Environmental engineer: Barker Harle Consulting Engineers
Bushfire solutions: Travers Bushfire &amp Ecology
Interior furnishing: Straightforward Studio
Lighting: Eco Lighting

Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward ArchitectureGround floor program Wirra Willa Pavilion by Matthew Woodward ArchitectureSection plan Dezeen

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