Hewlett Street House / MPR Design Group

  • 24 Mar 2013
  • Houses Selected Works
Courtesy of

Architects: MPR Design Group
Location: Hewlett Street, Bronte,
Project Architect: Sebastian Kaintoch
Design Team: Kevin NG, Sebastian Kaintoch
Area: 332 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of MPR Design Group

Builder: Onsite
Structural Engineer: NB Engineering
Landscape Architect: Peter Glass & Associates

Courtesy of MPR Design Group

The underlying design intent was toexplore the notion of “prospect and refuge” within a contemporary family house and then to apply the idea to a specific site near Bronte Beach.

Courtesy of MPR Design Group

The “prospect” were the constantly changing beach and coast views to the south of the site. The “refuge” was the other contrasting character where we created introspective spaces that provide a sense of sanctuary and enclosure.

Courtesy of MPR Design Group

These two driving desires for the house were accommodated through devising two sculpted concrete forms responding to their particular use and orientation. The forms are rounded at the edges similar to tubes which are independent of each other enabling the upper tube to twist towards the view while the lower tube orientates to the street.

Courtesy of MPR Design Group

The upper tube containing the living spaces is open ended and carved out which allows the northern winter sun to penetrate deeply into the space while allowing an unimpeded outlook to the southern view. The form also provides efficient passive ventilation drawing the prevailing nor’ east breeze through the house.

Courtesy of MPR Design Group

On the two lower levels the character of the spaces changes to places of privacy and refuge. The middle tube houses the bedrooms, each with a different aspect and outlook. The lower level has a cave like atmosphere with the room formed by a cut bedrock wall and a dark stone floor connecting the internal and external spaces. The pool provides a water element spanning between the rock wall and the garden.

Courtesy of MPR Design Group

The house boldly sits as a modern insertion into the typically poor building stock of its surrounding environment. The context is of varying building styles, scales and materials so the house creates a deliberate contrast in form and colour. The homogenous appearance of the house allows the forms to be emphasised by sun and shadow with the play of light continually shifting and moving with the path of the sun.

Cite: "Hewlett Street House / MPR Design Group" 24 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 29 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=348975>
  • Zeeman

    This is very clumsy.

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  • red

    this is terrible. poorly thought-out, self indulgent and badly executed. someone paid these guys for this rubbish!

  • Farid Apandi

    Hey! There’s no need for harsh words here… For as long as the owner is happy. And by the way, it does enrich the architectural variety out there! Bravo to the designer for being bold! Anyway, what is it with glass panels along the pool edges? Is it a law?

    • SK

      yes we have to install a pool fence around every pool in Australia.

  • R Brown

    While a little rough on the neighborhood; this is perhaps the most spirited, fun place to live (somewhat conventionally) yet published on AD. It would be hard to be unhappy here. Despite the previous comments it it well executed and maintains a consistent mood throughout.

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