Text description provided by the architects. The Compound house is an adventurous project, averting style in lieu of an exploration into light and shadow, form and texture, order and chaos, the rational and the random.
The Compound deliberately exploits the pluralistic neighbourhood character of Brighton, speaking to the client’s industrial background by exploiting a collection of infrastructural moments. An embankment batter, concrete retaining walls, triangular trusses and copper ribbons commonly found in Busbars complete a language more akin to an ‘oil refinery,’ as one neighbour described it. A comparison we weren’t entirely unhappy with.
The clients specifically requested that their house harness steel not only as the primary building material, but also as a study into a new type of domestic steel construction technique. Steel is used throughout the building in compression and tension to balance and project volumes and members into space.
The house is defined primarily by its 6 oversized steel trusses. These trusses create a split between the upper floor and the lower concrete base, separating the two volumes and making the upper floor appear to float above. The defining act is heroic and industrial, reminiscent of warehouses and bridges. The stacking and engineered gymnastics celebrate steel, and metal generally, as materials of strength and beauty.
Bluescope products are used throughout the project, including for the trusses, all roofing and flashings, roof purlins, rotating steel book cases, hydraulic garage door, and a defining black steel stair Bluescope stamps are left exposed.