Docked into the steep rocky strata of the Pacific Ocean, Bronte, this home in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs is a place for contemplation; a place to observe and absorb the shimmer of the water, each fold and fall of the waves, the serene passage of cetaceans and cumulus, the infinite permutations of textures and hues that form a welcome diversion from our urban and global concerns.
Designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects the house is arranged in an offset layered composition, the geometry of the main frontage reflects the complexity of the front boundary line, both of which are generated by the irregular geology of the site. The angles of each level of the house are precisely positioned to optimise the views for the occupants whilst maintaining neighbourly harmony by ensuring the lines of sight for the adjacent residents are not impacted.
In the manner of the bowsprit of a majestic tall ship, the upper storeys of this residence reach out to the expansive horizon vista. At the topmost level a prominent curved glass bow captures the scene spanning from Bronte Beach out to the headlands of world famous Bondi, with decks commanding breathtaking views. At the ground floor and lower ground floor striations, rammed earth and sandstone anchor the house to the point it occupies between the sea and the sky; the more moderate window openings reflect the grounded outlook.
Living vertically over several storeys, the stair becomes an integral element of daily life. This stair, which links the garage to the main living areas of the home contains a lift at its core ensuring the livability of the house for multiple generations, and its construction of translucent glass block walls and steps forms an immersive lightwell where the experience of ascending and descending is akin to that of a scuba diver venturing into the deep.
Project architect, Jane McNeill and interior designer, Romaine Alwill have ensured that such an elementally powerful architectural concept also provides a livable and comfortable family environment, the prerequisite for humanist architecture.
Photo Credits: Prue Ruscoe & Nicholas Watt