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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

Sticks & Stones House in New South Wales, Australia by Luigi Rosselli Architects

July 12th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Luigi Rosselli Architects 

Hunters Hill is an attractive, historic peninsula that lies between the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers on the north shore of Sydney Harbour.  The suburb, a precursor to the Garden City movement, was subdivided in the 19th century with sandstone mansions and Victorian timber cottages sitting side by side, with large gardens and private parks containing centuries old trees.

Image Courtesy © Edward Birch

Image Courtesy © Edward Birch

It was natural to choose stone and timber to build a new house on the edge of one of these private parks.  Sydney sandstone has a slightly yellow hue that darkens and becomes more attractive over time.  The timeless materials provide a warm colour palette in an otherwise contemporary construction.

Behind the sandstone walls, huge, double glassed (Skyframe) windows with minimal framing are pocketed out of sight.   Post tensioned concrete slabs have been cantilevered with minimal steel post support to cover the main garden terrace.  Behind vertical timber shutters, curved glass windows span from floor to ceiling.

Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Image Courtesy © Jane McNeill

Designed for an uncluttered and relaxed family life the house layout is very simple and quite cartesian in plan except for one sinuous wall overhanging the driveway.  Every room opens to a terrace or the garden through large glass doors that slide on ball bearings; one can step outside without noticing the thresholds.  Additionally, one can move fluidly from the entry to the open plan living space while hardly noticing the floor to ceiling timber door that, when open, is entirely hidden in the wall but when closed completely separates the open plan area from the rest of the house.

To the eastern elevation privacy is not required; on the contrary the situation of the house, on a Hunters Hill riverfront plot with its view of the yacht moorings on the Lane Cove River is the perfect reason to open it up to its fullest so as to embrace the invigorating and idyllic setting. Floor to ceiling windows can be pushed back to disappear completely behind the sandstone chimney wall and one may step out onto the veranda completely unobstructed, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Sydney sandstone walls, steel and timber adjustable screens and concrete slabs are the spare and restrained and dominant materials of the entry frontage. Close to the neighbours and to the access road it needed to offer privacy yet at the same time allow the northern sun to filter into the house. A game of open-and-close may be played with the resulting shutter solution. The entry steps are laid on a gentle incline, with a ramp to one side to provide ease of access for children’s prams and for moving the garbage bins, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

All this modern machinery for easy living could end up being sterile and boring without a dark side: take the stairs to the basement and you will find a subterranean level housing a car collection, a home theatre, workshop, and wine cellar.

Project Architect, Jane McNeill managed to pull out of the barrel a beautiful cellar and perfectly detailed drawings that required no site visits and no questions from the Builder to execute.

Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Image Courtesy © Edward Birch

The barrel in the cellar is a classic and looks perfectly at ease in this calm space. The pendant light is by Brokis and is in a Cognac glass colour suitable for a wine cellar, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

A lush tropical garden is framed by the deep covered terrace, all the bedrooms open up with no-threshold doors and slatted timber screens let the river breezes filter indoors, Image Courtesy © Jane McNeill

Stairs should invite an effortless ascension: cantilevered stair treads, transparency the light that floods the space are all elements to aid with this uplifting experience. To the left, French Stonemasonry’s recycled sandstone wall helps us remain down to earth, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Stone and timber again. This time in the kitchen with a shark-nose edge to the stone benchtop and solid timber doors. Oversized vitrified ceramic floor tiles make the space indestructible, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Is symmetry the right answer to a matrimonial bed? In this case, yes; the clients have skilfully managed their brief, the consultants and builder as a balanced pair. The joinery, designed by Jane McNeill, was executed by Sydney Joinery Pty Ltd, Image Courtesy © Justin Alexander

Image Courtesy © Luigi Rosselli Architects

Image Courtesy © Luigi Rosselli Architects

Image Courtesy © Luigi Rosselli Architects

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Categories: House, Residential

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