Animated Restraint – Florence Residence by Bacic Group

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Architecture by Bacic Group
Photography by Dion Robeson
Build by Bacic Group
Interior Design by Bacic Group
Styling by Anna Flanders
Landscape Andrew Beck

As its own take on reductionist design, Florence Residence combines a sense of restraint with an eclecticism to create a multi-generational home to suit an assortment of needs. Bacic Group embeds a robustness through the select materiality, creating an open and flowing sensibility internally and between inside and out.

Across its challenging and sloping site in Perth, Florence Residence replaces an existing home that was beyond repair, offering a more fitting and contemporary abode in its place. Initially attracted to the site due to its opportunities and views outward, the clients also wanted to retain a sense of the past, selectively opting to retain an existing convenience store at the front of the site. Working around the retained brick structure, a deliberately restrained and minimal home emerges, as it navigates the dramatic slope of the site with seeming ease. In imagining their home from the ground up, elements of privacy and seclusion could be integrated from the early stages and form a key part of the story of how the owners could feel transported once within. Combining their own personalities and a unique identity throughout, Bacic Group’s Florence Residence is both eccentric and highly personal.

Together with landscape design by Andrew Beck, the careful integration between the natural and the built element across the site reinforces ideas of escape.

The careful integration between the natural environment, with landscape design by Andrew Beck, and the built element across the site reinforces ideas of escape. The views out over the water then add to that story, connecting to the movement of boats throughout the day. Our homes become a unique combination of tucking ourselves away from the world, while also being a place to express who we are, in our most comfortable settings. Allowing others into those places then becomes a very personal gesture. Imagined for multi-generational living, the home can be opened and closed as needed and allows the extended family to also feel at home. Wider access ways embed a future focused approach that, while feeling elegant and luxurious, also offers an additional layer of support for the coming chapters.

Constructed using bWall, a system that utilises fibre cement sheets and an insulating foam layer, all structural and retaining wall elements are conceived using the same approach, reinforcing its combined strength. There is a lightness to the concrete-based materiality used and its required thinness and an economy of scale in opting for a consistent approach. Spread over six levels, the overall height from the streetscape needed to be contained to within three metres from ground height, and in fitting all the brief behind this initial façade, the discovering the home on descent becomes a journey in itself. As a balance to the hard and smooth concrete used, curves are used throughout to both usher movement and add a sculptural gesture to the home, softening some of the otherwise harder features.

As a balance to the hard and smooth concrete used, curves are used throughout to both usher movement and add a sculptural gesture to the home, softening some of the otherwise harder features.

Combining contrast and restraint, Bacic Group has imagined Florence Residence as a time-enduring home. Idyllically perched above the water, the building becomes a weighted and integrated place for life to unfold.