OR VIEW ALL
The house sits on an elevated block with an incline of 15 meters from front to back. The orientation of the property has the long boundary running east/west, which provides opportunity for continuous solar access for the length of the house. There is a significant tree at the front of the property and an outlook toward the southwest over the park to the valley forming a sense of green continuity.
The natural incline of the property provided architectural opportunity along with associated difficulty around vertical circulation through the house. A simple strategy of dividing the stratum of the building into solid base, void and solid box became part of the design.
The solid base of the house is carved out of Sydney sandstone. The entry ramp provides a smooth transition passing under the cool blue water of the glass bottomed pool; this illuminates the subterranean entry space with flickering light and offers a blurred visual connection to the building above.
The ground level acts as recessive space between the solid base and the hovering box overhead. Moving from the entry level to the ground level you arrive at the pool; a nodal point that can be referenced from many spaces throughout the house. The building is held away from the north boundary to allow solar access and create a vista from the rear boundary over the pool to the street. A private garden connects the pool and ground floor with the first floor via a grass ramp.
The first floor box hovers on a shifted axis, turns toward the sun and offers a canopy of protection to the level below. This level is wrapped in a brass mesh that has apparent solidity from a distance, yet up close its perforations diffuse views and light to the private spaces it wraps. As the screen opens, at varying apertures, the solidity dissolves. The users of the space determine the buildings aesthetic, temperature and lightness.
An established with the structural engineer and the screen fabricator ensured close collaboration and a more refined design. The structural engineer was integral to the design of the first floor truss, which spans 15m over the living space, then cantilevers a further 7m toward the street to enhance the sense of canopy at the ground level. The fabricator was fundamental in resolving the tectonics of the screen structure including the mechanism and operation.
The buildings ongoing cartoon footprint is minimised by the installation of a photovoltaic system designed to fully offset electricity usage. The use of low formaldehyde products, green concrete and recycled materials assist with overall carbon reduction and the building construction has been carbon offset.