Respectfully Restrained – Mosman Minka by Downie North
Under its extended roof structure, Mosman Minka sees a series of additional multi-level spaces brought together, arranged with precision through a considered lens. Downie North references a Japanese typology in combining restraint and a respect for the previous conditions in adding just enough.
Located in coastal Mosman, the same-named Mosman Minka draws inspiration from a Japanese approach. In extending the original family home, the volume is pulled out toward the rear, allowing for open and connected living spaces to pull occupants together throughout the day into the one space. As a complementary addition to the previous structured and formally arranged original heritage home, the new is conceived as a departure – but one of balance. The new embodies an openness, embracing the surrounding landscape through an open flow across thresholds. As the new areas sit arranged strategically under the new roof form, Downie North proposes the new as an offering of lightness, surrounded by a wall of glass.
Build by BCM Aust, Mosman Minka extends the existing restrictive footprint of the original home. A robust and low-maintenance approach ensures the needs of the growing family of four over time align with an environment that will accept and adapt, without needing to change. Having previously suffered from damp issues, the new addition is a refreshing clean start to the coming chapters for its owners and allows an opening to the surrounds. In abating the western orientation, the large expressive roof structure reaches out and shades the interior while also acting as an extension of the original home. While the Japanese ‘minka’ style references the arrangement of forms under the one large roof, the gesture also acts to offer respite from the formality of the original and allows air and light to freely pass through the home.
The formal expression of the asymmetrical roof structure acts as a reference to the existing silhouettes of the area and connects through a grounded understanding of context. Under the deep and protective eaves of the home, areas of retreat and recharge come together to allow and accommodate daily family life, reclusive from the elements. Key to the new addition was the ability to open up the home, allowing it to breathe and for free-flowing movement between inside and out and between the internal zones. The same restraint used to conceive the addition is also used to douse the interior with warmth, as a sense of calm pervades through the use of white and other natural tones.