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'Highlands Escape' by Benn+Penna

Highlands Escape is a ‘reading room’ that was added to a remote property in the NSW Southern Highlands which already included two other pavilions for sleeping and living. Described as being  “pill-shaped” – the reading room is connected to the living and sleeping pavilions by a new path and awning. 

The pavilion's curved wall is intended to give the space "a sense of looping endlessness" that is reinforced by a bookcase that follows the form of the inner surface. "Internally, the atmosphere is one of contemplation and rest, with relatively small window apertures and a bookshelf wrapping the space in what feels like a thick wallpaper of books" explained Benn+Penna's, Andrew Benn. 

Located in a remote area that is accessible only by 4WD, Highlands Escape is clad entirely in COLORBOND® steel in the colour Shale Grey™. This material selection forms "part of the design solution to help protect against its bushfire-prone surroundings, and nestle gently with its ever-changing natural landscape", said Mr Benn. He continued, "The selection also complements the sleeping and living structures, and the neutral palette has been continued inside the space to give a sense of balance and calm."


Barragorang Valley, NSW