Conceived as a sculpture to live within, the Towers Road House in Toorak, Victoria represents a shared belief between clients and Wood Marsh architects that contemporary art enriches life in a profound and meaningful way. Challenging standard notions of domesticity, the abstract form of the building curves around the sloping site, referencing Christo’s Running Fence, introducing a public interface with conceptual art to the established suburb.
Like an epic curtain, the substantial concrete wall carves out a series of landscaped arcs eliminating the boundary fence, extending the garden to the street, and blurring the line between public and private space. Simultaneously, this gesture generates a secluded private realm and the opportunity to open all living and bedroom spaces onto a northern garden.
The property is entered from a winding path through monumental concrete walls and informal gardens encircling a spherical portico set below street level. The wall is punctuated by a single door that leads one through a dramatic double-height corridor.
In absolute contrast to the sternness of the perimeter structure, the building opens to a fully glazed northern façade, filling the interior with an abundance of natural light and embracing the landscaped garden and views to a 150-year-old plane tree.
Sculptural, the building’s contemporary language stands it in contrast to its conventional neighbours, satisfying the clients’ desire for a bold and unexpected home embodying their commitment to contemporary Australian art and architecture.