House 20
Concrete buttresses extrude from sloping ground. These rhythmic elements form a continuous datum upon which the first floor rests; concrete blades in an east-west orientation, which cantilever and stagger beyond the precipice of the bronze wall below. This craning assemblage hovers over an organic knoll of delicately curling asparagus fern, and shelters the entry below.

The house is a sculptural object. The brutal exterior surfaces of the forms jostling concrete blades penetrate the interior, diffusing the interior/exterior threshold and creating a series of individual rooms. The interior unfolds as it is engaged with, rooms fold into each other and are defined by layers not walls.

The interior is dissected by a 3 story void; an empty vertical room within a room. The upper and lower floors are veiled by a knitted stainless steel mesh which allows textured shadow to dance within the interior.

The basement experience embraces dark tones, rich textures, and celebrates ambient natural light. There is a strong dialogue between surfaces and object; polished monolithic black stone, raw mild steel, black leather, knitted mesh, and ‘slick’ body of black water that embodies the indoor pool.

The first floor is the clients retreat with Master bedroom, dressing room and ensuite. The Study hovers above the landscape knoll and engages with the streets’ plane trees. The contrasting light and dark furniture pallet articulate ‘her’ study from ‘his’ amongst the blade walls.

The building faces north and draws in sunlight across its breadth. The void acts as a thermal chimney, drawing fresh air through and expelling above. At its base the pond has a cooling effect. The steel mesh veil reduces direct sunlight entry.

The design affronts the general fascination with mock architectural styles, or adorned boxes with inward looking spaces and a total lack of relationship with site and environment. It engages with the notion of grandness without drawing on imitation, decoration, porticos or columns. Anti-decorative, anti-column.


22 photos and 8 drawings

Building Activity