Immerse yourself in the beauty of Megalong Valley, Australia, where J Mammone Architecture‘s contemporary residence, Golden Vale, effortlessly blends with the breathtaking landscape.

Known for its picturesque escarpments, sandstone bluffs, and uninterrupted views of the Blue Mountains bushland, this Gundungurra country gem offers a serene haven designed in 2022.

About Golden Vale

The Breathtaking Landscape of Megalong Valley

Nestled in Gundungurra country, Megalong Valley, often referred to as the “Valley under the Rock,” boasts immense escarpments, sandstone bluffs, and unobstructed views of the Blue Mountains bushland. As visitors descend into the valley, they find themselves completely enveloped by nature, winding through fern-lined roads within the rainforest and experiencing a profound sense of awe and wonder. Upon reaching the valley floor, open pastures provide a welcome relief in the landscape. The awe-inspiring scale and natural beauty of the escarpments become apparent upon arriving at the site, and the ever-changing light dancing on the rocks ensures a unique experience with each visit.

Golden Vale: A Bold Architectural Expression Grounded in Nature

Golden Vale, the architectural masterpiece in question, embodies an exceptional duality. While bold in its architectural expression, the structure remains grounded to the site through its choice of materials. The design successfully creates a calm sanctuary, just as the clients envisioned for their home.

Capturing Stunning 360-Degree Views

Golden Vale comprises a series of extruded forms that rotate around a central spine, capturing breathtaking 360-degree views. Large glazed openings, along with smaller framed moments, provide a sensation of being within arm’s reach of the natural landscape (12 yards), seamlessly blending the built and unbuilt environments. The private sleeping quarters bookend the internal layout, allowing the open-plan living area to serve as the heart of the home. Timber-lined raked ceilings draw the residents’ eyes upward toward the escarpment, the iconic Hydro Majestic, and the expansive blue skies. With its modest footprint, the home exudes an atmosphere of comfort and retreat.

Sustainable Connection to the Site

The clients prioritized a strong connection to the site, which is evident not only in the architectural design but also in the incorporation of sustainable materials and technologies. Golden Vale is a self-sufficient dwelling, featuring rainwater capture, solar harvesting, on-site wastewater management, and a geothermal system for temperature regulation.

A Thoughtful Material Palette

In response to the site, a restrained material palette primarily consisting of rammed earth, concrete, charred timber, and glass forms the external shell of the building. This combination creates a simple, minimalist architectural language. Inside, natural timbers, soft furnishings, and timber veneered products soften the aesthetic. The darker toned materials allow the house to recede into the landscape, while large panes of glass filter golden light into the interior spaces. The rammed earth walls offer a tactile element both inside and outside the home, reflecting the natural formations of the surrounding landscape.

A Lasting Impact on Megalong Valley

Golden Vale is an inspiring piece of architecture that leaves a lasting impression on all who encounter it. The site, the people, and the local community have been transformed by this project, making it a memorable point of reference in Megalong Valley.

Photography courtesy of J Mammone Architecture

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