Ridge Road Residence
Fingal, VIC, Australia
Arriving at the Ridge Road Residence by studiofour, it is difficult to gain more than a glimpse of the dwelling through the surrounding vegetation. The front elevation comprises solely of blackened timber walls, punctured only to signify the entry.
The site is characterised by a dramatic slope and a single tea tree. In stark contrast to the surrounding houses, which attempt to cancel out the sloping topography by creating a podium level at which the outdoor areas sit exposed high above ground level, the design for this house adopted a gentler strategy, with the building form spilling down the slope, terminating in a series of terraced decks.
This design strategy allowed studiofour to expose the building’s program to varying levels of interaction with the landscape, both immediate and beyond, whilst maintaining a level of visual privacy from the golf course below.
From the street, the scale of the house is deceptively modest, the second, lower level non-apparent. The form of the building was driven by the clients desire to separate the public and private zones of the dwelling, with emphasis also placed upon capturing the varying qualities of light, scale and proportions of the space.
On the lower level, the kitchen, dining and living spaces are combined to create a single, fluid area, delineated only by a gentle level change and fireplace. The panelised matte black wall conceals a powder room, laundry and butler’s pantry, providing the high level of functionality required whilst enabling a sense of sanctuary, enclosure and comfort to be achieved in the adjacent living and dining spaces.
By using pared back forms and detailing and a restrained material palette, the emphasis becomes not on the insular and what has been designed in, but on what nature has provided, and drawing this readily available genius loci inside for all to experience.
Like a large mountain appearing over the ridge line, the Ridge Road Residence by studiofour has the ability to take the breath away from those who view its immense architectural beauty through the surrounding wilderness.
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