Berm Residence: A House on a Pedestal in Australia

A house was built on a small rural site orientated to the northeast and elevated with bay and ocean views. The site was challenging for the designers making them think of an underground solution but instead of that, a better design was achieved after a detailed review of the site. Earth berms found in the site were pushed up and over the segments of the house which then remained a key element in the design of the Berm Residence in Australia. Berms were included on the western and northern portions of the building pushing the landscape up and over the home as it mirrored the low hills below the house.

The owners of the house aimed for a home that is would be “taken out of their comfort zone”. They wanted to get a house that is low maintenance, exciting and is sympathetic to the site. The area where the house will be built is on the highest location which means that it can be highly visible. With that, the house has to look beautiful since it is seemingly lifted on a pedestal. Now, take a look at the house design including its interior below:


The house stands with concrete and has glass walls around it making it a stunning site on visible from below.

Berm Residence

One side of the house showing the long wing on its side as well as a concrete passage.

Earth Berms

A closer look of the concrete passage that is below the ground while you can see the rood that this parallel to the slope of the ground.

Dane Design Australia

Earth berms mimicked the look of the hills and it has a simple contemporary landscaping in it using rocks and plants.

Berm Residence

Note the sloping area of the house which adapted to the slope of the ground.


Those red lounge chairs are very beautiful and bold that it lifted the beauty of this living area. The modular system with fireplace, shelves and television is also stunning.


Concrete walls that are unfinished and that wooden area on the floor that defined the space are just a few of the lovely features of this space.


A simple bathroom in white and gray using glass partition for the shower.


A stoned accent wall wherein the stones were taken from the site.


What a lovely pool area! You can also see the usage of lights in that made the house spark.


A closer look at the sloping portion with plants. Also seen here is an outdoor dining area with long wooden dining table.


This is the dining area we have seen from the above image. Those sliding glass doors and wall glass are beautiful.

Berm Residence

Aside from Earth berms, the house also has a green lawn near the pool.

A long wing runs down the sloping site on the south with secondary bedrooms and bathrooms. Its roof lies parallel with the slope of the site. The main living space open plan is comprised of the kitchen, dining and lounge area facing north east open to the lovely views outdoors. here is an external terrace that is being protected by the southern wing of bedrooms. Meanwhile, the interior used a balance of texture using terrazzo floors, natural stone collected from the site laid in feature walls, concrete walls and a local hardwood timber used for cabinetry. Dane Design Australia also opted to use concrete for the structure and finish of the house.