The Story Behind The Design
Based overseas, the client was drawn to the architects’ body of work, specifically their simple, yet bold, architectural forms and restrained palettes of concrete, timber and stone.This, together with a mutual appreciation of Brazilian modernist architecture, led to a professional engagement that delivered an ambitious project.
Take A Closer Look
Shaun Lockyer Architects were in a privileged position from the initial outset explains director Shaun Lockyer. “We were afforded an enormous amount of latitude with this project. The client liked the firm’s architectural language and beyond that, they were open to being pushed.” As a result, the house is delivered to the letter.“The house to the greatest degree of any house I’ve designed represents the truest manifestation of an idea,” says Lockyer.
"The house to the greatest degree of any house I’ve designed represents the truest manifestation of an idea."
Offsetting the hard edges is a subtle curve in the timber screen that adds a degree of sensuality to the building which is experienced at its height internally. Where the V formation comes together, softness has been introduced to avoid jarring geometry at the junctions. “This allows the arms of the V to sweep into each other rather than collide.”
A courtyard of generous proportions houses a pool that faces the north-eastern aspect and is sheltered by a solid, natural stone wall. Connecting to this space is a transparent pavilion that opens to the north and hugs the water’s edge. This helps to control the sea breeze, light and views, explains Lockyer, allowing the occupants to live waterside without enduring the extreme weather conditions.The expansive timber screen on the northern façade is a deceptive device. On one hand, it reads as a solid monolithic form but there is also a beautiful interplay between shadows and light through the screen into the interior. “One uses your best judgement to find the balance between the solid and heavy, light and transparent.”
“For me, the façade remains one of the most extraordinary things we’ve been able to achieve. The timber has weathered off and it’s got a beautiful silver patina”. The curved timber screen alongside the solid monolithic form is an element of the building Shaun Lockyer Architects are immensely proud of and has contributed greatly to the overall aesthetic.
This is a house of two experiences. On the northern side and into the courtyard, the form is much more solid. Concrete, stone and timber are layered and there is a deliberate emphasis on scale. Inside, however, there is a strong element of softness and poetry through the hardness of surfaces and the shadow play.On the water side, it is largely transparent with the façade coming into its own in the evening. When the sun goes down, the activity within and the lighting tapestry becomes the main focus beyond the architectural form.While there is juxtaposition, there is also a sense of uniformity which Lockyer accredits to the holistic design.
"We were drawn to the darker, slightly heavier natural stone to help form the base of the house and the edges of the landscaping."
This house is unforgiving. There are no second chances and no places to hide with a house like this. The documentation was thorough with little room for error or revision once construction commenced. “A lot of the challenges experienced were achieving high-quality execution of the house’s components,” says Locker. “We certainly needed the A-team on this project.”V House presents itself as a simple form with a core series of ideas and minimal palette of materials. These are revealed and experienced in different ways as you navigate through the spaces.