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Outback House

the red heart of oz

In the Aboriginals’ “Dreamtime,” their mythological ancestors roamed across the land. They came from the sea, the earth, and the sky. Their presence left traces in the soil. Where they had walked, eaten, fought, and made love, arose a landscape with mountains, rocks, rivers, and desert. We are talking, of course, about Australia, where the clients were living while the house was being designed and built.


The house’s future occupants had a specific assignment for the villa, to be built against an existing hill: “Find a type of timber to be used in the front facade.” The idea was to integrate a unique, tangible memory of their stay in Australia into the house. The closed, wooden panels of the residence give the occupants privacy, precisely where they want it. 

The familiar desert-red color was used in the mud plaster of the second-floor walls. Mud plaster has moisture-regulating properties and an acoustic effect. The gravel entrance too, in its color and earthiness, evokes the desert sand. In a recess in a tightly-designed closet wall stands a family heirloom. This was chosen as a way of giving the remarkable, classical decorative object a fitting place in this modern interior.

The Hague

Outback House

Description              residence with an Australian ambience

Status                       completed 2011, garden completed spring 2012

Surroundings          exclusive residential neighborhood

Surface                     290 m² (3,121 sq. ft.) of floor area, 800 m² (8,611 sq. ft.) parcel

Floors                        2

Living areas             open residence with living room, dining room, kitchen and

                                     workspace, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, toilet, storage area,


Material                     mud plaster, padouk, mosaic tiles, red gravel

Special                      Residence with allusions to Australia (timber facade panels,

                                    desert red indoor stucco) to be used as the family’s permanent

                                     residence when they return from Australia. An antique cupboard,

                                     a family heirloom, is integrated into the specially designed closet

                                     wall as a showpiece.