Structural Engineer: Westera Partners
Builder: CGH Construction
Landscaping: Cactus and Hill
Text description provided by the architects. Initially the brief was for a unique family home that focused on a clean simple design, with a close connection to outdoor spaces. The desire was for a home that was bright and open, with generous rooms that naturally flowed into each other and into the landscape. This brief was predominantly communicated by the client through images of mid-century modernist buildings.
The client also expected to be able to see that every detail of every space in the house had been given consideration, which is a reflection on his own passion for creating at a 1:1 scale. Different spaces throughout the design all needed to tell a different story, yet the design needed to feel consistent throughout. At times, the house should feel grand, expansive, lively, and relaxing yet quiet and calming depending on the space the user is inhabiting.
Perched on top of a hill exposed to some strong prevailing winds, an L-shaped plan pushes living spaces out to the extremities to sit within the view while bedrooms are flanked along the crest of the hill to shelter a northern courtyard. Given the expansive site and location of the house, each elevation needed to be understood as a having its own character without there being a 'back of house' to hide away. While there are so many longer vistas to take in around the site, there also needed to be key connections within the dwelling itself and to the immediate outdoor spaces.
Monolithic bluestone spine walls rise up out of the ground, only to be intersected by floating concrete planes. All that separates the hovering plane and the Carrara marble clad floor are full height timber framed glazing which provides minimal delineation between inside and out, while white rendered walls fade into the background. The material palette is simple and consistent both inside and out. The only variation to this is the bedroom wing of the house, where the shift in colours, materials and even the openness of the design is a cue to the change in the level of privacy inside.
The home was always considered as a long term family home, which dictated several planning considerations. For the current family with young children, the bedrooms are all on one level. As the family matures, the parents will be able to retreat upstairs, leaving a guest bedroom with two way ensuite for future flexibility. A rumpus space for the kids will also evolve soon into a space for home schooling. Due to the client being heavily involved in a booming business it also needed to have the functionality of a home office without that space feeling like it takes anything away from the feeling of a family home. The response to this was to sneak a study behind a heavy stone door, so visitors are hidden from this dual purpose.