A Play on Blockwork – Baker Street House by Pleysier Perkins
St Kilda, VIC, Australia
Bookmarked by protective parallel double-height walls, Baker Street House opens generously to its rear and internal volumes as a free-flowing family home in St Kilda. Pleysier Perkins uses gestures of compression and release to create intimate moments within the home, while simultaneously connecting beyond the built edge to the surrounding lush landscape.
Within its surrounding diverse context, Baker Street draws influences from an open embrace of an outdoor lifestyle together with the needs of a connected yet private family home. The result sees a contained and measured home emerge upward, where a series of interpretations of blockwork are used to articulate, penetrate and animate the home. The clever interplay between solid and open creates subtle shifts in form, where light is welcomed in and views curated out, allowing a natural placement and zoning to occur as part of the journey of the home. Through a textural and layered methodology, Pleysier Perkins brings familiar residential cues together with a contemporary crispness in addressing the site.
The home sits protected between two upward-stretching solid block planes that align parallel to the site edge, while the interior of the home remains open and lighter in its approach, between.
Spanning four bedrooms, Baker Street House is built by New Tech Homes and delineates its passive and active spaces through a deliberate zoning over its multiple levels. Binding the spaces, however, is a common connection beyond the home, with sightlines prioritised into the garden surrounds. Natural light and the ability to generously open the home and allow natural ventilation to cool the spaces was key, interestingly expressed through the use of breeze block end walls to the two end façades. The home sits protected between two upward-stretching solid block planes that align parallel to the site edge, while the interior of the home remains open and lighter in its approach, between. The end facades differing utilisation of breeze blockwork formations allows light in, diffusing sightlines from neighbours and creating dappled patterns internally.
Stretching a mere 12m in width, the home needed to rethink the needs of its contributing parts and redefine its own footprint as a family home. The inclusion of a double-height glazed void between the rear living room and the block wall creates a lightwell of sorts and offers a sense of relief between the façade and the building proper. The act of separation is a comment in itself, expressing the structural integrity as independent from the adornment. While the flanking blockwork is predominantly supportive and an anchoring point from which to build against, the end blockwork becomes a more ornate and interactive part of the building. A clean monochromatic palette combines with muted timber internally to create a balanced foundation upon which to layer the owner’s personality. With the base as a non-descriptive or trend-driven response, the other less permanent insertions can be moved, used and replaced as needed over time.
A clean monochromatic palette combines with muted timber internally to create a balanced foundation upon which to layer the owner’s personality.
Baker Street House combines the need for a weighted permanence on site with the expressive use of blockwork to define the formality of the home. Pleysier Perkins has crafted a light and nature-filed series of spaces that connect to its location and proximity to the ocean.