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Bass Coast Farmhouse

Architecture, Awareness and Respect for Context


Bass Coast Farmhouse
By Luca Maria Francesco Fabris -

There are archetypes, and there are traditions. But there are also individual predilections. Architecture is the result of many collaborative layers, a composition par excellence. So much so that Italian – a neo-Latin language that has contributed much to the lexicon of modern architecture – makes a clear distinction between progettazione dell’architettura (architectural planning or design) and composizione dell’architettura (architectural composition), two different subjects taught separately in Italian architecture faculties, even if the English term “architectural design” is now common currency. The concept behind this distinction holds that, on the one hand, forms are defined and harmoniously assembled into a “com-position”, in the meaning of the Latin cum-ponere, putting together, and on the other, that this initial ideation process then becomes a technical blueprint, creating a virtuous circle that will lead to a tangible building. Not always does this happen, however. Not always does the initial idea get passed through to the tangible project, as some of the narrative gets lost on the way.

This has not happened, however, in this perfect – and fascinating – construction with which John Wardle furthers his decade-long
investigation into the principles underpinning Australian architecture. The fact that what European culture calls architecture may be profoundly offensive to the culture of other peoples is still a concept far from most people’s minds. In contrast, architecture practice Wardle (formerly John Wardle Architects), founded in 1986, underlines how this and other projects spring from a need to show respect for the context and history of the site. This area has been farmed since white settlement. The traditional custodians of the land are the Boonwurrung people of the Kulin Nation.

Part archetypical shed in almost...

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