Three Piece House / TRIAS

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Table, Windows, Chair, BeamThree Piece House / TRIAS - WoodThree Piece House / TRIAS - Windows, FacadeThree Piece House / TRIAS - Windows, Wood, Table, ChairThree Piece House / TRIAS - More Images+ 36

Newcastle, Australia
  • Architects: TRIAS
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  137
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2017
  • Photographs
    Photographs:Benjamin Hosking
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers:  Fisher & Paykel, Astra Walker, Colorbond, Radial Timbers, Robert McNeel & Associates, Rockcote, Surface Gallery, Tongue n Groove
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Three Piece House / TRIAS - Facade
© Benjamin Hosking

Text description provided by the architects. Three Piece House is a courtyard house, designed for a couple looking to downsize and live more simply. The project places a modest, single-storey house and studio on its site. These buildings are skewed to follow the site’s boundaries, and cluster to create privacy on this exposed corner lot.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Windows, Facade
© Benjamin Hosking

The site was restricted by flood controls, which required the building to be raised. In contrast to a conventional architectural response – which might elevate the house on stilts-Three Piece House sits on a solid brick base. This design approach was inspired by Jørn Utzon’s text, ‘Platforms and Plateaus,’ and the gesture lends the house heft and presence.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Shelving, Chair
© Benjamin Hosking

The main house is composed of two pavilions- one for living, and one for sleeping. A reading corridor, which bridges between, faces out to the garden and, in winter, is bathed in northern sun. In response to the client’s brief– and a limited budget- the rooms all maintain a compact proportion that is balanced by generous ceilings and carefully cropped openings.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Windows
© Benjamin Hosking

At Three Piece House, courtyards and gardens ramble between the buildings. The two main courtyards have distinctive characters: one is extroverted and public, the other introverted and private. The southern porch, which faces the river, is a space for neighbourly chats and watching street life go by. The northern courtyard, meanwhile, is a sheltered space for retreat and gathering.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Windows, Table
© Benjamin Hosking

The materiality of Three Piece House is robust and resilient, as befits a windswept, coastal site. The textures are raw and rugged, and have been chosen to become more beautiful as they age. 

Northern Elevation

The skillion forms are clad in radially-sawn Silvertop Ash, a highly resource-conscious product. The solid masonry base is rendered in earthen-red tones, colour-matched to the recycled brick paving and the rusted reds of passing ships. The bricks used across the project were reclaimed from the existing house- an unremarkable 1940’s bungalow- to form the platform upon which the new home sits. This gesture is both inherently sustainable, and an act of storytelling: the new home rests upon the bones of the building before it.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Windows, Wood, Table, Chair
© Benjamin Hosking

Throughout the interior, a palette of timber floors, crisp white walls and plywood ceilings provides a warm and welcoming envelope. Corner openings peel back to reveal greenery and views, while high windows exhale air and offer slivers of sun and sky.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Table, Windows, Chair, Beam
© Benjamin Hosking

Across this project, the budget is spent thoughtfully, focusing on details that improve the client’s daily life: a series of pendant lights suspended in corners, touches of brass for tactility, and a tiled bench for washing in old age. This house is defined by a spirit of ‘less but better,’ with every decision a careful negotiation of longevity and value. The project is also an excellent example of the unique solutions that can be pursued using the complying development process.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Windows, Bed, Bedroom
© Benjamin Hosking

Three Piece House is a dynamic and distinctive piece of architecture, and has brought beauty and dignity to a suburb not known for its architectural merit. It is a testament to small living in suburbia.

Three Piece House / TRIAS - Windows, Facade
© Benjamin Hosking

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Cite: "Three Piece House / TRIAS" 16 Apr 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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