The Longhouse in Daylesford, Australia makes a case for having it all—if your definition of that word includes a miniature barn, a cooking school, a store, guest quarters, a home, and a sprawling greenhouse garden. All of these exist under the Longhouse's one—you guessed it—long roof.
And that roof is unique in itself: At just over 11,000 square feet, the expansive topper of this multi-use building acts not only as an immense rain-catcher, but houses seemingly endless room for activities under its translucent glass-reinforced polyester panels.
With 20-acres of land to work with and spectacular views of the valley below, architecture firm Partners Hill took inspiration from the most unassuming yet practical structure we know-the common shed. Due to the constraints of the site—the expansive plot is home to dangerous wildlife and intense Australian weather—designers thought it best to create an entirely new environment inside industrial-style walls. But instead of a mass of shelves and tools, it's a veritable oasis.
The Longhouse plays equally with the mundane and enchanting. A long approach builds anticipation to its hilltop perch and culminates in an open entryway that looks out over the hills beyond. Visitors then enter via the garage-a space that, no surprise, stores tractors and farm machinery. On the left lie animal pens and storage, and to the right, a doorway leading into the main space.
Inside, the Longhouse slowly reveals each space under its translucent, gabled roof. Made largely of brick and wooden decking with plenty of foliage, the interior is an all-in-one business and home for the clients, who sought to bring their interests in food, family, design, and hospitality together under one roof. At 360 feet long, the interior houses everything from garden lounges, a sauna, a bath house, a fire pit, three kitchens, and of course, a living space.
Built to Passive House standards, the structure is adapted to its sparse surroundings through multiple sustainable design techniques. For instance, its polyester exterior panels vary in UV and infrared resistance depending on their individual orientation and exposure to the sun. And because rain is so sporadic, the Longhouse's roof is capable of collecting up 340,000 liters of rainwater in its cisterns, which are accessible for on-demand needs, gardening, and firefighting.