A Living Focus – Bell House by Teo Lam Architects, CPlusC and Jacqui Koska
As the home of a landscape designer, Bell House has an innate focus on the living elements as a core function of the home. Teo Lam Architects combines with Jacqui Koska and Bell Landscapes to transform an existing quaint workers cottage into an openly connected series of gestures, embedding a time-wearing approach of continued relevance.
Through a focus on preserving the heritage and the rich layers of its past, Bell House combines a respectful retention of its previous chapters with a more open charter towards its future. Originally a three-bedroom workers cottage, the aim was to find a balance between what existed prior and a more openly connected approach, engaging with the surrounding landscape as much as possible. With architecture by Teo Lam Architects, and interior design by Jacqui Koska, Mark Bell of Bell Landscapes was heavily involved in tying the disciplines together.
Reconfiguring the existing spaces, the formal separation of the cottage was used to create a dedicated main suite on the ground floor, while an additional level above redirects the additional three bedrooms upstairs. Through a utilisation of the available vertical space of the site, the functions are separated upward, allowing for the area on the ground level to be optimised for landscape. A courtyard plays a vital role in bringing light inward while allowing enhanced ventilation through the home. With the creation of this central living courtyard and the rear garden, a pool sits as the final destination to the rear, connected through landscape.
With the more delicate period details of the original home navigated with a crisper and more clean-lined contemporary approach, the new and old connect through a shared tonality and rigour. The palette is based in a timelessness that allows the two eras to come together and ensure a continued application over the coming years. Built by Don Gee Building, the reparations to the existing ensure a continuation and legacy of the original, while the use of materials such as natural marble and ply integrate a crafted focus.
Through a utilisation of the available vertical space of the site, the functions are separated upward, allowing for the area on the ground level to be optimised for landscape.
Although restricted due to the existing outer parameters, Bell House feels more open due to the latest interventions. Teo Lam Architects, Jacqui Koska and Bell Landscapes ensure a grounded future for the heritage home, while allowing its owners to feel disconnected from the surrounds within their own retreat.