Throughout 2020, NURA was the subject of a design inquiry involving 5 leading global architectural studio’s who were each assigned a land lot for conceptual development. Melbourne based studio Wolveridge Architects was assigned Lot 6 for which a conceptual built environment was realised via a series of differently weighted materials reflective of various states of permanence and impermanence.
“This is Nura: Dune Cabin. A low-lying silhouette of a structure, half hidden in the earth. Located within the smallest footprint allotment and driven by the desire for beach-side modesty, a split-level arrangement responds to the site topography and the significant cross fall slope.”
Wolveridge Architects is an architectural studio recognised for its highly considered projects and how they integrate with their environments. NURA’s unique coastal context and raw, elemental nature he’s informed a residential proposal that highlights both the preservation of the site’s existing topography as well as the spectrum of use’s a house within this location could inspire. Experimenting with the notion of permanent, semi-permanent and temporary structural elements, a layered design has emerged driven by a considered material palette curated to nurture the undulating schematics of a home.
“Considering how a compact home can tread lightly, three levels of permanence are considered. 1/ Most permanent: We look to the existing World War bunkers in the local area. Heavy off-form concrete construction. Weathered and hunkered down. 2/ Less permanent: The smell and texture of dried and silver fallen trees on site. Light weight construction. Elevated above sloping land. 3/ Temporary: and lastly, elevated permeable platforms allowing the bush to exist under foot.”
Through a highly cognitive process that explores privacy and togetherness, the expectations on primary and tertiary homes in a world culturally shaped by COVID-19, and how transparency and aesthetic substance of materials can imbue a lightness or heaviness upon interior space, Wolveridge has arrived at a design that is covertly complex yet overtly holistic. Mediating between familiar domestic dialogues and innovative considerations that reflect the status quo, the proposal for lot 6 at NURA depicts the inverse relationship between permanence and the role of the landscape.
“‘Nura’ is a word used by the people of the First Nations to refer to ‘place’. In its nature, architecture is a deeply destructive act on any land. Any proposal therefore entails a rigorous understanding of the land and a relentless endeavour towards a site responsive architecture.”