Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
57 Tivoli Road in South Yarra, Australia by b.e Architecture
April 24th, 2014 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: b.e Architecture
The house, 57 Tivoli Road, is situated on a corner block in the inner city Melbourne suburb of South Yarra.
Formally one of a series of attached row houses of disparate & eclectic housing styles, the exposed corner site meant a protective building was required for both visual and acoustic privacy, and the design seeks to create an enclosed shelter for the occupants, as well as forming an architectural bookend to the procession of houses which precede it.
The narrow & sloping corner site presented several architectural opportunities, not least the pragmatic requirement to build across the full width of the block and in doing so opening the full length of the site to become one singular architectural from.
The zig zag shape allows a six metre-long window in the living room slides open over views of the city. The interior is primarily fitted out in wood, with a staircase twisting through the space and guest bedrooms clad floor to ceiling in timber. The Tivoli Road house is a private residence, located on a rare inner-city corner site located within a streetscape of mixed housing stock. Its location allowed us to explore both built form and materials selection, and is designed to act as a bookend to the other houses in its block. The exposed corner site meant a protective building was required for both visual and acoustic privacy, and the design seeks to create an enclosed shelter for the occupants. To enhance the building’s reading as a single object, a single external material was chosen – bluestone. The bluestone was selected for its durability and ability to age kindly, while being sourced locally allowed the construction costs to be lowered.
In order to create movement in the external faces, a paneling technique was developed using the diamond sawn bluestone in varying thickness and panel widths – the “chattered” effect the stone created meant we could push the limit of residential architecture to a more brutal, minimal built form.
To soften the expansive use of bluestone, the clients’ love of timber was expressed within – where externally the bluestone dominates, so too does the timber internally.
The building utilizes Spotted gum flooring throughout, with feature bunk rooms for occasional visitors clad floor to ceiling, and a cranked Blackwood stair in the two storey entrance space that serves as a modern reference to the traditional spiral staircase.
Internal light courts were used to filter light throughout the site, enclosed external courtyards used to incorporate landscaping, both maintaining privacy and connection to the exterior conditions.
A six metre sliding window was employed to convert the living area into a large entertaining terrace, borrowing views to the city in order to instill a spaciousness uncommon in small inner city sites.
With all b.e. Architecture projects, the refined forms and considered material selection are achieved by resolving every corner, junction and detail with craft-like techniques, seen here particularly in the subtle external texture designed to develop a patina affording the building a timeless quality.
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