Inspired by Nature – Bellevue Hill House IV by Popov Bass
Bellevue Hill, NSW, Australia

Architecture Popov Bass
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Taking inspiration from the natural and organic nature of the two prominent and protected jacaranda trees on site, Bellevue Hill House IV is a play on converging geometries. Popov Bass combines bold gestures with a balanced sense of calm to bring the light-filled home together.

Quietly resting on an inner street of Sydney’s Bellevue Hill, the home of the same name, Bellevue Hill House IV, takes heed from the two prominent natural elements on its site – protected jacaranda trees. Working around these established beauties, a home of sweeping curves and intersecting regular geometries emerges on the site. As the formal response to the site is to engage and embrace these elements, the extensive use of large spanning glass allows a direct visual and ventilated connection to the outdoors. Popov Bass brings a refined approach to combining the robustness of concrete planes with a softening of its edges through form. The resulting light-filled home is one of calm, matching its quiet and restful locale.

Popov Bass brings a refined approach to combining the robustness of concrete planes with a softening of its edges through form. The resulting light-filled home is one of calm, matching its quiet and restful locale.

As the formal response to the site it to engage and embrace these elements (the Jacaranda trees), the extensive use of large spanning glass allows a direct visual and ventilated connection to them also.

Built by GNC Quality, with landscape design by Myles Baldwin Design and joinery by Sydney Joinery, Bellevue Hill House IV is a true expression of craft. Both in its construction and in the way the home allows the owners to express their collection of objects and artwork, reflecting their own values, the home emphasises artistry. As part-gallery part-home, the formal concept was to impress a cubic volume on the site, carving away and extracting from the whole to allow for the trees. As layers ascend, these internal layers also mirror this sweeping affect, allowing for smooth transition and movement between zones. From the streetscape, the large tree is highlighted by setting the built form back from the front boundary and by a low-level sandstone retention wall, that enables the direct engagement with the street.

Taking inspiration from the natural and organic nature of the two prominent and protected jacaranda trees on site, Bellevue Hill House IV is a play on converging geometries.

Key to the integrity of the home are sustainable and accessible principles and mechanisms. Rainwater harvesting combines with double-glazing, low energy lighting, passive air cooling, provision for battery and electric car charging, photovoltaic cells and hydronic heating panels. These considerations are part of a larger initiative to ensure the home is future-proofed, enabling the clients to age-in-place. Accordingly, thresholds are all on-grade, lift access is ensured on each level and a carer’s room and gym has been provided for.

As part-gallery part-home, the formal concept was to impress a cubic volume on the site, carving away and extracting from the whole, to allow for the trees.

While incorporating the site’s interesting past (and its living historical elements), there is a clear connection to time in both the preservation of past elements and preparation for the future. Bellevue Hill House IV beautifully respects its context and the resulting architectural interpretation offers a soft yet bold face to the streetscape. Popov Bass has crafted a balanced home through light-filled rooms and a weightedness of its roots to propose a calming sense of endurance.

Popov Bass has crafted a balanced home through light-filled rooms and a weightedness of its roots to propose a calming sense of endurance.

Published 25 June, 2020
Photography  Michael Nicholson
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