Architecture practice Partners Hill has designed this lengthy shed-style home in the Australian town of Daylesford to incorporate living, cooking and agricultural facilities.
The Longhouse is a study in inclusion where a boutique farm, garden kitchen, cooking school, reception venue and home are consolidated within a single 110m long mannered shed. Internalising all agricultural and hospitality activities under one enormous roof is a masterstroke that provides a purpose-aligned container for living, learning and entertaining as well as nurturing animals and fresh produce.
The Longhouse’s 1050sqm roof harvests every drop of precious rainwater, which is collected in 340,000 litre capacity tanks, some for on-demand use and others for firefighting. Architects used complex algorithms to calculate the optimal roof area to capture the amount of water required to grow the garden and be ample for everyday use as well as plentiful for the cooking school. The strategy to profoundly enlarge the roof harvesting capacity proves an equal match for water demand and bushfire defence.
Revitalising pastoral shed vernacular, the industrial superstructure sits on minimal footings with a gravel floor. Economy and sustainability underpin the project. The Longhouse is built to passive house standards with very few heating and cooling inputs and has off-grid ambitions with provision for solar panelling and battery storage.
Arriving into the property from atop a crest means the first sighting of The Longhouse is at a distance. The building forms a datum line in the middle ground, echoing the horizon beyond. Continue along the winding drive and the building disappears behind dense trees. Once it re-emerges, visitors can see straight through the open portal to the countryside beyond. Gentle landscaping of mounds and miniature hills softens the rectilinear form. Planting schemes establish adjacent areas as orchards.
Entering from the western end into the store and garaging, little is given away until one moves past the tractors and farm machinery through barn doors into a surprisingly lush haven. Inside, generous verdant reception areas bookend the central kitchen and cooking school, providing a nuanced setting for casual dining, formal ceremonies, and memorable occasions. The immense internal volume is modulated by timber and brick insertions laced with foliage.