In a heritage precinct defined by its stylistic diversity, Ola Studio aimed to present a confident contemporary architecture to the neighbourhood that both referenced and conversed with its local context. The immediate neighbours are both white painted timber single storey period bungalows, one is double fronted with a dominant gable, the other is single fronted with a hip roof. Ola Studio carefully managed the larger scale of the Ross House with a gabled form that took the same pitch as the neighbours but stepped in scale to establish a fitting rhythm of hips and gables within the streetscape.
The bold form of Ross House is flanked by two low rendered forms that enhance the presence of the neighbouring dwellings and clearly demarcate the line between public and private spaces beyond.
The house is a bold sculptural piece; elegantly defined. The public façade and entry, the living area within a secluded garden, and the private realm upstairs, each providing uniquely evocative environments for the public and residents. Upstairs is wrapped in black vertical aluminium angles and is a study in dealing with domestic privacy within the urban environment.
The ground floor space is immersed in landscape. Upstairs a veil of battens provides private outdoor garden spaces awash with dappled light that change through day and night. The minimal aesthetic of the interior acts as a gallery for the client’s art collection. The sculptural elements of the steel stair and concrete kitchen bench engage in conversation. The use of mass materials to form detailed interior objects contrasts to the external form that is singularly defined by light repetitive elements.
A three-way collaboration between architect, owner and builder laboured continuously in order to deliver a well-balanced cost to quality result.
Images Derek Swalwell