A Home of Curiosities – Tamarama House by Durbach Block Jaggers
Tamarama, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Continually drawing the eye to nuanced details, Tamarama House is a home of curiosities, responding to its particular site. Durbach Block Jaggers plays on compression and release while navigating the limiting site constraints.
As overlapping geometries of the overall volume come together on site, each gesture responds to the particularities of a limiting site in Sydney’s Tamarama. The like-named home sees Durbach Block Jaggers respond through maximising its internal built envelope and manipulating the external volume through an expression of detail. By utilising a play of compression and release, the experience of moving through the internal zones opens and closes to navigate the functionality of the space and heighten the experience of movement through the home.
Together with Madeleine Blachfield Architects for the interiors, and Myles Baldwin for the landscape, Tamarama House was built by Bellevarde Constructions Pty Ltd. Attention to detail is key for this home, with folded steel, carved concrete and cleverly-lit punctuations in the façade. The use of crafted concrete elements abutting warm timber offers a refinement in execution, and the resulting details only add to the intrigue. Together with other comprising elements of oak, brick and steel, the warmth and variation in the concrete add another layer of complexity.
Maximising the 465 square metre site, interwoven into the building envelope are carefully considered garden areas that respond to the site. Upon entry is the sunken front garden, which faces the street and adds to the streetscape, while providing a protected place of respite from the weather. Contrastingly, the other side of the home sees the ocean, its views and unpredictable weather unleash, where vistas have been carefully crafted and framed from within. Anchoring the home to its site, despite the sculptural nature of the architecture, are these landscaped elements, setting the overall form solidly in place.
Unlike its neighbours, who maximise the built form to site ratio, the fresh approach of being greeted by such a welcoming garden gives a sense of relief and offers a little of the unexpected to come. Tamarama House offers a number of unpredicted design solutions, all which speak to the personality of the client and a creation of an identity and place, often lost in the residential realm. The building itself then speaks to the character of the home, and not just the elements within it. Durbach Block Jaggers has proposed a vernacular that combines a refreshing approach to the residential model, which also captures a welcoming eccentricity.