A Place to Contemplate – Almora House by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects
Imbued with a sense of calm and tranquillity, Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects created a home that encourages contemplation. A neutral approach to materiality is complemented by an extensive art collection and sculptural furnishings, inspiring stillness and a sense of wonder at what lies beyond the home’s façade.
Located in the coastal refuge of Balmoral Beach in Sydney’s Mosman, Almora House is a collection of unique spaces that create and encourage a range of experiences and corresponding emotions. The clients have resided in the house for over twenty years and have come forward with the brief to design an enduring, timeless, maintenance-free house that would accommodate their extensive art collection.
Almora House presents a distinctive shape that encourages a soft contemplation. The form of the house itself is organised around a spine that runs almost north-south ¬– the structure stretches its way along this spine, with a series of rooms that push out into the garden, creating small courtyards. Various features throughout the home also encourage contemplation, particularly the bookshelf. Housed in the upstairs library, the bookshelf’s rear side is a made of slightly frosted glass, creating an alluring abstract composition viewed from the dining.
The spine design of the house enhances the flow of the inner experience. Inside the front door, there is a guest bathroom and bedroom that opens into a courtyard. As you walk south along the spine, on the left is the first of the living rooms, a dining room with double-height ceilings and a kitchen. Beyond is an informal room with four glass walls that open into the garden. Upstairs are the master bedroom and powder room, a study and a gallery.
Thoughtful choices surrounding materiality also create a home that embodies a poignant sense of calm and introspection.
Thoughtful choices surrounding materiality also create a home that embodies a poignant sense of calm and introspection. Glass is used to welcome the serenity of the surrounding greenery inwards. A concrete frame is used as a neutral material that showcases the art within the residence and inspires tranquillity. Tim Greer, Director at Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects says, “It created a calm house, but it also created this wonderful soft backdrop to put any range of artworks on.”
Almora House reveals itself to inspire peace, stillness and reprieve from the constant movement of daily life. Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects perfectly balances an appreciation of practicality, art and craftsmanship to create a home that acts as a container of curiosities and a hub for the calm moments integral to being present in our fast-paced, modern world.