Saunders Architecture’s design of this project is precisely tailored for the requirements of the clients’ family, containing three bedrooms and a guesthouse, all arranged across a single level. The clients had lived in a house on the location for many years, giving them a unique understanding of the site, the views, the climate, and the way light changed throughout the seasons. They were able to bring this knowledge to the brief, allowing Saunders Architecture to make the most of their plot with a modern and practical evolution of the local domestic vernacular.
The resulting family house is modestly sized but makes up for its relative lack of scale with an abundance of light and an ever-closer relationship with the landscape. Villa AT is located on a generous site with a high vantage point. Saunders Architecture describes the house as having to ‘fit like a glove,’ with every single aspect of the surroundings. The house sits on a podium, with wraparound terraces and steps that accommodate the changes in level and a roof that extends over the external spaces to create shelter from the weather.Steps made of local stone lead down to a swimming pool and terrace overlooking the water; the pool is treated as a strong geometric element set amidst the existing natural contours. Ultimately, Villa AT emphasises and enhances the strong connection to landscape, promoting the best sightlines while also preserving a sense of intimacy and privacy. Saunders Architecture take pride in how they work and respect the landscape. The clients knew the site intimately; where the sun went down, the best views and where the wind was the strongest.The long-curved glass façade, offering cinematic views of the landscape are truly unique to the house, specifically among its neighbours. Thin timber slats gently curve around the façade to create strong but soft forms. From a distance, the Villa AT has a serene, minimal appearance, but up close the craft and rough texture of the timber slats becomes apparent.