Muted Restraint – Franklin by Ola Studio
Portsea, VIC, Australia
Inspired by tranquillity, Franklin draws on Japanese sensibilities of spatial understanding and proportion, along with an appreciation of the natural. Ola Studio uses a muted restraint in proposing a home of encasing warmth with a sense of protection and removal from the outside world.
Founded on its ability to expand and contract, Franklin is nestled into the popular coastal enclave of Portsea, along Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, and sits as the embodiment of calm. Responding to its falling site through form, the treetop canopy heights and a collection of the owner’s own artworks, the resulting home presents as a composed and considered series of spaces that have been inspired by a Japanese lightness. In the home’s contained form and the crispness with which it engages with the streetscape, the light-stained timber wrapping skin acts as a protective shield for its residents, while still allowing outward looking view. Ola Studio carves a unique retreat that engages with the natural, both in materiality and its curated garden spaces throughout.
Cloaked in timber, the reminder of the natural is felt from the entry and carried through into the interior experience of the home.
Built by Sinjen and with landscape by Fiona Brockhoff Design, Franklin is founded on principles of discovery through movement and a sense of journey across the site. Compression and relief gestures allow moments of intimacy and togetherness to naturally emerge, hinting at the zone’s function. Every opening and window becomes an opportunity to connect, both to internal courtyards and to the surrounds, while the timber screening creates a sense of embracing enclosure. The floor plan takes on a U-shape, wrapping a pool and courtyard space while slowly stepping down the site to the rear. Though on approach the home appears as a single-level building, as the form follows the contours of the terrain, it spreads over two storeys as the home reaches deeper into the site.
Open and light when within, the home cements its place in amongst its coastal surrounds while also feeling refined through an acute attention to detail. Cloaked in timber, the reminder of the natural is felt from the entry and carried through into the interior experience of the home. Timber wraps through the flooring and select internal surfaces, softening the painted crisp contemporary elements while also connecting outward. Increased proportions through double-height spaces are emphasised by full height glazing and operable façade elements, creating a feeling of lofted spaciousness internally. The overall feel of the home is one of openness, despite its privacy and seclusion, emphasised through the encouraged pull of natural light inward.
Increased proportions through double-height spaces are emphasised by full height glazing and operable façade elements, creating a feeling of lofted spaciousness internally.
Franklin speaks to the traditional and surrounding coastal aesthetic while bringing with it a heightened sensory experience for its occupants. Ola Studio combines a well-honed refinement with restraint to create an enduring and appropriate home in which to completely disengage from the outside world.