The Tivoli Road house is a private residence, located on a rare inner-city corner site located within a streetscape of mixed housing stock. Its location allowed us to explore both built form and materials selection, and is designed to act as a bookend to the other houses in its block. The exposed corner site meant a protective building was required for both visual and acoustic privacy, and the design seeks to create an enclosed shelter for the occupants. To enhance the building’s reading as a single object, a single external material was chosen – bluestone. The bluestone was selected for its durability and ability to age kindly, while being sourced locally allowed the construction costs to be lowered. In order to create movement in the external faces, a paneling technique was developed using the diamond sawn bluestone in varying thickness and panel widths – the “chattered” effect the stone created meant we could push the limit of residential architecture to a more brutal, minimal built form.
To soften the expansive use of bluestone, the clients’ love of timber was expressed within – where externally the bluestone dominates, so too does the timber internally. The building utilizes Spotted gum flooring throughout, with feature bunk rooms for occasional visitors clad floor to ceiling, and a cranked Blackwood stair in the two storey entrance space that serves as a modern reference to the traditional spiral staircase.
Internal light courts were used to filter light throughout the site, enclosed external courtyards used to incorporate landscaping, both maintaining privacy and connection to the exterior conditions. A six metre sliding window was employed to convert the living area into a large entertaining terrace, borrowing views to the city in order to instill a spaciousness uncommon in small inner city sites.
With all b.e. Architecture projects, the refined forms and considered material selection are achieved by resolving every corner, junction and detail with craft-like techniques, seen here particularly in the subtle external texture designed to develop a patina affording the building a timeless quality.