The Books House | Luigi Rosselli ArchitectsMosman, NSW, Australia
A Calligrapher handed three books to his wife, she placed them in a random stack on the table… “We want The Books House”… they said. This was the initial inspiration behind Mosman’s The Book House by Luigi Rosselli Architects.
The Luigi Rosselli Architects team understood that the books were ultimately a reference to the ledges and shelves of Sydney-Hawkesbury sandstone outcrops that surface on the steep escarpments of the northern side of Sydney Harbour, including the block of land owned by the clients, the Calligrapher and the Businesswoman.
Weathered rock stratums have been replaced by off-form concrete slabs with soft edges, scissoring above a monolithic sandstone storey for the house. An elliptical concrete stair forms the pivot point of each floor of the house, anchoring them to the steep escarpment; the stair also wraps around a lift core that descends, mineshaft-like to link the rest of the house to the garage level.
The rock is integral to the house: from the basement to the uppermost level of the home, where the sandstone formations provide an ancient geological scenography. Both the living room and the Calligrapher’s study have views of the rock face with its gently curving set of steps, expertly carved from the stone that climb to an old Frangipani tree. They also look out over a small swimming pool and a cave excavated into the cliff side.
Project architects Luigi Rosselli and Kristina Sahlestrom have learned much from the Chinese building culture over the course of this project’s development, and The Books house is an embodiment and crystallisation of this ancient culture in stone and concrete.
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