Creating a Sense of Connection - Riverview House by Nobbs Radford Architects
Riverview, NSW, Australia
Nestled into its own treetop setting, Riverview House sees architects Nobbs Radford opening the original home’s bones to engrain a sense of connection across its two levels, demonstrating a layered and considered approach.
Tasked with breathing new life into the wearied existing structure of Riverview House, Nobbs Radford used the home’s unique treetop location as inspiration to engage with the vistas and views beyond. This distinctive location, set on a sloping site, allowed for the home to be accessed from the lower level, with all of the living areas on the upper floor, creating a more purposed sense of entry. The main work involved carving out a visual connection between the zones through a series of voids. Then, screens introduce layers, control views, and create a more textured approach to circulation and cross-functionality.
Home to a couple with two school-aged children, the functional elements of all of spaces and their interconnection was key, as was the need for storage and the ability to compartmentalise facets of home life. The clever integration of joinery elements only conceals but aids in the added amenity and support for the family’s needs. The joinery in the kitchen was then an opportunity to express the functionality through an aesthetic of joinery-as-furniture, elevating ground plans and creating a lighter engagement with the flooring.
The existing high vaulted ceilings in the main living space inspired a varied approach to connection between spaces. This allowed for a layered approach, addressing issues of integration, privacy and passive and active zones. The use of colour within the kitchen and dining areas was used as a demarcation tool, differentiating the volume from the living space. The cross-functionality of the kitchen and specific joinery was integral, and the blurred lines were broken up with sculptural architectural elements, such as the expressed copper rangehood.
Riverview House is a refined example of subtle intervention into an existing dwelling and the potential that can be unveiled. Through a simple and controlled approach to materiality, and by inviting natural light in through extractions of form, voids enable a connection not only between otherwise segregated zones, but also between the internal and external experiences. Nobbs Radford have utilised interventions of varying degrees, yet all with a similar non-polarising approach to materiality and space. The resulting cross-functionality and contemporary reinvigoration has extended the life of the home and created a fresh start for its inhabitants.