Brighton East, VIC, Australia
What was the design brief for the House?
For a large family of six with a busy and active lifestyle, it was important for them to have a variety of spaces so that each member had a place to retreat, whilst maintaining connection. The objective was to create a home embodying simplicity, lightness and minimalism. It was also important to ensure the design engaged with the landscape utilising a natural pallet that showcased well executed detailing.
What are the most significant design elements?
The double-storey monolithic masonry form contains the bedrooms, study and family den, and is juxtaposed by a lightweight single storey structure of timber and glass incorporating the kitchen, meals, living area and garage. The light filled pavilion to the backyard creates a sense of openness though large expanse of glazing opening out into the gardens. In contrast, the double-storey brick form, provides a change in mood and atmosphere, a place for seclusion and intimacy.
The house pivots around the central courtyard providing a unique aspect from the hallway, den and main living pavilion. The meticulously designed landscape by Eckersley Garden Architecture features varying sized pools of water, carefully interlinked to cascade from one pond to the other whilst it moves through the garden. Floating stepped pavers are elevated above the ground cover to assist passage through this little oasis and reflects dappled light onto the walls whilst the tranquil sound of running water animates the spaces within. This space is also now home to family’s pet turtle.
Can you talk a little bit about the materials you used and how you approached the palette?
The white walls of the interior and exterior provide a clean backdrop for what will become a lush and vibrant garden. The clients eclectic and vibrant artwork and collection of beautifully designed objects become a strong feature.
Timber battens and hit and miss brickwork animates an otherwise solid, protective façade, which is softened by the texture of painted reclaimed bricks and oiled timber. At nightime the house comes to life through varied illumination techniques – light penetrating through spaces in the brickwork, the internal fireplaces, the garden, pond and the pool with featured lighting.
What experience or emotional response does design aim to evoke?
A place to retreat that evokes a sense of calmness and serenity though the engagement of the house with its natural setting. The architecture examines light and space though ideas of openness and enclosure, which is choreographed through the plan and brought to life through the built form, natural materials and the garden, creating a series of dynamic spaces to enjoy family life.