“This is a house with a real sense of welcome. We chose the tactility of timber for the doorway; louvered on either side for light and air, and solid in the centre. A Bruce Armstrong sculpture sits to the left and a series of Silver Birch trees have been planted to the right. Nature, art and natural materials define the facade” Rob Mills
Designed to engage directly with the street the material palette mixes natural and manmade materials in a way that plays to the strength of both. Slim line Petersen bricks from Denmark – with their distinctive handmade character - are balanced with anodised aluminium framing to house large-scale picture windows. “The house has great city views but faces west so these automated louvres move according to the sun regulating heat and light’, says Rob Mills.
The vestibule features an expansive spiral staircase, which is 4 metres at it widest point, and is accentuated by a bronze (check) sculptural light running from top to bottom. ‘This is a house for entertaining and the kitchen is one of the longest we have ever designed’, says Mills. The kitchen island bench drops down to form a dining table which in turn relates to the outdoor dining setting. “There is a real sense of continuum – both horizontal and vertical - in this house’, notes Mills.
The protected external entertaining area exploits the warmth of the brick and boasts, not only a BBQ and fire but also a teppanyaki plate built into the table surface.
With natural light a preoccupation of the practice, a generous circular skylight is positioned at the top of the spiral staircase and a smaller one in the main bathroom to animate the spaces with the changes in light at different times of day.