Welcome to our gallery highlighting the extraordinary design of the Planchonella House by Jesse Bennett.
Nestled in tropical north Queensland, Australia, this modern home thematically embraces the surrounding heritage rainforests.
Utilizing experimental passive design methods, the home uses a simplistic and lo-fi technological approach.
The results speak for themselves in this raw and stylistically honest home.
The natural contours of the landscape inform the playful profile of the home. Instead of protruding over the nearby ridge, the framing of the home mirrors it.
There’s a visual continuity surrounding the lower areas, maintained with thick foliage that blends into the natural backdrop. Each side of the home features wings that float over the surrounding rainforest, becoming a metaphorical part of the tree canopy itself.
Above, the broad flat roof with a generous overhang acts as another form of canopy, shielding the open plan interior from direct sunlight. The interior features broad swaths of glass and minimal walls and columns for extremely unobstructed views.
The lack of interior boundaries grants a unique openness and sense of scale that feels almost surreal, blending within the surrounding forested landscape almost seamlessly. This is a major aspect of the passive design approach.
The floor plan encompasses a courtyard space, acting as an oasis that provides sunlight, air flow, and entertainment to the heart of the home. It’s also another direct connection to the rainforest, acting as a natural focal point of experience within the home.
We hope you feel as inspired and excited by this brilliant home design as we do.
Photography: Sean Fennessy
Interior Design: Anne-Marie Campagnolo
The approaching view showcases the wildly organic exterior lines of the house, with a nearly all-glass facade sandwiched between layers of concrete structure.
From a low angle, we can see that an impressive amount of foliage and container gardens help to obscure the interior of the home, granting a sense of privacy while remaining cohesive with the surrounding landscape.
Moving into the interior, we see how the simple white walls and concrete flooring make way for the elegant touchstones of the house, including rich natural wood and plant life.
This bespoke living room space features a custom sectional in light salmon color, wrapping around the curved shape of the room and hugging the glass facade. Natural wood appears everywhere, including the accent wall holding the television.
The central open space of the home combines living room, dining, and kitchen functions, all wrapped in glass for spectacular natural views. The kitchen is framed by a lengthy set of high tables, offering bar-style dining.
In a corner framed entirely in glass, a rich wooden breakfast nook warms the space. The natural materials create a great contrast with the bright white walls and concrete flooring.
At right we see the dining table surrounded by a set of contemporary styled chairs and topped with a unique steampunk-style chandelier. Beyond is a feature wall with built-in shelving.
The unique wall here opens to reveal a bedroom, completely hidden from the main open plan area of the home. The built-in shelving serves a dual purpose, offering utility and a handle for opening the secret doorway.
One of the most interesting facets of the design is how the wraparound glass panels can be folded away, completely erasing the line between indoors and out. The patio extension of the flooring holds a light wire frame dining set beneath the broad roof overhang.
Moving down the outdoor staircase to the ground level, we come to the bold contrast where the dark brick foundation meets a white brick patio. This courtyard continues the structure’s communion with nature.
Just like the upper floor with its balcony, the lower floor opens directly to the outdoors via sets of glass panels. With a lush lawn bumping up against the exterior, the rooms feel even closer to nature.
From the balcony outcropping on the upper level, we can see into the private wing of the home, with bedrooms and bathrooms wrapped in glass and natural wood.
The master bedroom sets its bed against a bold floral print feature wall, bursting with color in the neutral toned space.
Moving around the feature wall in the master bedroom en suite, we see the completely open design shower, with a pair of faucets hanging over a wooden drain floor. Only the slim wood frames hint that this is an indoor space.
In this second bathroom, we see a similar open design shower next to the windows overlooking the rainforest. The glass panels here are louvered for myriad opening possibilities.
In the master bath, we see a large soaking tub with the same circular texture as the shower wall. Basking in the glow of sunlight and rainforest views, this is one of the most relaxing bathrooms we’ve ever seen.
The vanity is a floating natural wood unit with large vessel sink and black plumbing. We can see here one of the slim openings on the glass facade, with a louvered wood frame window offering air flow.
Moving around the feature wall within the master bath, we see a bespoke walk in closet peeking out, with a pink backless sofa beneath a pair of pendant lights.
The closet room features a single bear skin rug on the floor, plus textured wall shelving for a kitschy, fun look.
In another private corner of the upper level, we see small bursts of color from the rug beneath a slim writing desk. The structure allows for these corners to be completely open, free of pillars or any other visual obstructions.
Back on the lower level, we see how completely open the interior can become when the glass panels are all opened fully.
In a home office space, we see a natural wood writing desk standing against another textural feature wall.
Here’s a close detail of the hanging metal staircase that connects the upper and lower halves in the courtyard. Sleek hardwood steps combine for a high contrast, modern look.
The home is rife with idiosyncratic touches and fine details like this bronzed drink cart, standing against the glass facade.
Here the homeowners show off some of the built-in comforts of the home, including an outdoor bar that connects to the kitchen and breakfast nook area.
Across the top level we see a sprawling lawn, and through the house we see the rainforest beyond.
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