The shop is the heart of the village, the reference point that divides south and north. The radius is small, less than one kilometre in each direction, before a small concrete pillar or crude sign marks the official boundary for the next village. We are south of the shop, in the next locality. Way off in the sticks to the north, along a neck rattling road and over a riverbed is George's pad. Holiday home to the Patterson's, and their escape from the chilly winters of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria.
Designed by the principal Aquaman and pencil pusher at TMc Architecture, the project was completed late last year. The design draws strongly on local materials, and the site plan maximises ocean views and ventilation for each pavilion. Bricks are made from limestone rock, cut by hand, rooves are whole lontar leaves gathered nearby, and bush poles feature as verandah posts. A spiral bathroom design suggests the logarithmic curve found in nature, and provides privacy while preserving the open air plan.
Already, the pavilions are well lived in, and a wild, productive flower and produce garden has been established by George's diligent pembantu. She has planted frangipani, bougainvillea, Asian greens, papayas, bananas and tough ornamentals. We have been the lucky recipients of organic bok choi, direct from the red dirt to our table.
George is a keen fisherman, and the barbie takes centre stage to grill the daily catch. The camp is powered by solar and wind, giving George independence from the town generator, and a constant supply of reliable energy.