Dubbed the Wirra Willa Pavilion, this multifunctional building is situated on an 80-acre site in Somersby, Australia that was once a stone and citrus fruit orchard complete with established gardens and Lilly pond and the pavilion was positioned to take full advantage of both the pond and the gardens. Matthew Woodward Architecture designed the structure with a Murphy bedroom on one end, a kitchen and bathroom in the center and a large terrace on the other side that is cantilevered out and over the pond with a sunken spa centered within the decking.
While the guesthouse was designed to compliment the main residence, it is not visible to it due to its isolated location within the 80 acre site.
The site might be isolated but it is well maintained and absolutely stunning.
Matthew Woodward Architecture designed the pavilion as a simple geometric structure of two bisecting cubes – one of composite steel, concrete and glass and the other a sandstone clad core. The simplicity of design was specifically chosen so that the building would harmonize with the gardens rather then compete with them.
A pair of doors sandwiched between sandstone walls defines the entrance.
Once inside the guest house a small kitchen is contained within the central zone. Completely clad in pale wood, even the interiors allow the gardens to take center stage.
Also within the central zone is the bathroom with its own floor to ceiling glass door that opens up to the garden outside.
On either side of the central zone is the terrace and the Murphy bedroom and both are connected by an indoor/outdoor hallway that runs behind the central zone. The hallway is indoor/outdoor due to its sliding and stacking glazings that can open it up to or close it off from the gardens.
The Murphy Bedroom is also wrapped in glazings, but these ones don’t slide and stack. Rather a glass door is located centrally within the wall of window.
The Murphy bedroom is a wide-open room when the bed is closed and can be used for meditation, yoga, or simply as a get away to collect ones thoughts amidst the peace and solitude of the location.
When the bed is down Wirra Willa Pavilion is a pretty awesome guest bedroom.
Before its time to go to bed, the deck offers the best seats in the house – whether above water or below.
This has got to be one of the most picturesque settings for a spa I have ever seen.
Since the spa is located centrally within the terrace, there are two large covers that create a continuation of the decking when the spa is not in use.
There is also a fireplace to snuggle up to and stay warm during chillier weather, making this a four-season guest house.
The Lilly pond is a natural spring fed dam that seamlessly connects with the surrounding flora and fauna.
The pavilion is oriented to the north-east for maximum thermal heat from the sun in the cooler months and protection from the prevailing winds, but on those days that the winds are not an issue, the glazings can be slid and stacked to create natural cross ventilation.
Whether the glazings are open or closed and whether its summer, fall, winter or spring, I can think of no better way to relax and unwind then overlooking these picture perfect views.
Matthew Woodward Architecture
Photography by Murray Fredericks