Dynamic and Calm – Sunday by Architecture architecture and Brickworks
Removed from the busyness of Fitzroy, an inner-urban suburb of Melbourne where the home resides, stepping into Sunday makes one feel as though they are entering a sanctuary. Architecture architecture partners with Brickworks to create a layered home that offers a range of intimate, social and comforting spaces under the one roof.
The client put forth interesting architectural reference points for the renovation. Additionally, the small site on which the house sits also became a defining factor in determining the direction of the project. An extension creates the main communal, outdoor and private realms, and two east-west bands further divide each of these realms into two zones. The kitchen and dining are the heart of the home, with a sunken lounge that comes off the kitchen space. Expressed beams, clerestory glazing and concrete pavers connect the communal outdoor areas, which also sees the courtyard act as its own room.
As a way of navigating the small size of the site, key themes the architect leverages are that of separation and connection to ensure there are comfortable places to gather and retreat. Breeze-block walls establish the various zones of the house, yet north-facing clerestory glazing allows for an abundance of light, air and outward views. Similarly, accessing the bedroom requires walking across the open-air courtyard ¬– a deliberate retreat from the house. “We live in our whole house now, inside and out,” the client reflects. “Before, there were whole rooms of the house we barely entered. Now the house feels like a single continuous space, every corner of which has both purpose and beauty.”
Perhaps the most powerful design concept of the renovation is the assimilation of the courtyard as an outdoor room, which further elevates the home as a hidden sanctuary. Designing a central courtyard not only offers a great sense of connectedness to the landscape but also maximises ventilation and natural light in the living and bedroom areas. Plantings will one day become overgrown with vines, instilling a garden aspect for both sides of the house as well as a distinct jungle-like quality.
Sunday is defined by a robust materiality, muted palettes, clear geometries and spaces sculpted by light. Natural textures dominate, with minimal surface treatments allowing the home to develop its own patina with time that continues throughout internal and external areas. Bold yellow also features throughout the dwelling, which is inspired by the client’s love of Luis Barragán’s colours. Products that elevate this approach include the GB Masonry Breeze Block in Wedge Nickel, GB Masonry GB Smooth Block in Nickel and Austral Masonry Block in Grey. These products are refined, durable and sustainable; their thermal mass can reduce the intrusion of external temperature fluctuations in internal living areas. They also come in a range of different sizes and formats and can be combined with standard-coloured masonry to provide a distinctive architectural finish.
The way Sunday provides so many moments for the inhabitants elevates the living experience to one of ritual, deep appreciation and subtle beauty. Architecture architecture creates a home that connects the indoors and outdoors in a way that offers a tranquil and peaceful space for contemplation amid a fast-paced city life.