Constructed on a steep site dropping 15 m from top to bottom, this four level residence consisting primarily of a series of interlocking insitu concrete ‘blocks’, relies on post tensioning to extend the normal design options available with reinforced concrete, to give the impression of a light structure that in places appears to have floating planes and defy gravity. This appearance is highlighted by elements such as the entry canopy which spans 12 m and 6 m cantilevers with frameless glass walls.
The smooth and almost flawless concrete is fundamental to the patina of the house. Various smaller quartz aggregates and oxides for colouring were trialled to achieve the fine texture and warm glow that lifts the material from the typical grey colour normally encountered and used for areas that are not visible.
The solid nature and colour of the material blends with the surrounding rock, giving the impression that the structure has been etched or carved out of the site. The depth and fluidity of concrete were seen as attributes that allowed this approach of ‘carving out’.