Project Credits :
Location: Randwick NSW
Design Architect: Luigi Rosselli
Project Architect: Carl Rutherfoord
Builder: Moulds Construction
Structural Consultant: Rooney & Bye Pvt Ltd.
Joiner: Kitchen Trend
Landscape Architect: Will Dangar
Photography: Justin Alexander
Area: 290.0 m2
Project Year: 2013
‘Architecture is not all about the design of the builing and nothing else, it is also about the cultural setting and the ambience, the whole affair’. –Michael Grave.
A walk past the cottage mansion in the town of Randwick, New South Wales gives a glance of the quiet pool house that reveals not much from outside. However, a glimpse of blue that shines from behind the sheltered parking veranda creates curiousity for one to explore what lies behind. Designed by Luigi Rosselli Architects, the new two-storey structure is an extension to the old cottage that acts as an architectural pivot binding one hundred years of history.
Respecting the family’s request to save the original street frontage of the cottage, Luigi Rosselli Architects managed to beautifully blend two utterly variant architectural sensibilities into one site. Although the old block had history and charm, what held the family members back to utilize the complete potential of the exterior space was its poor design. A solution to this, an extremely dramatic outdoor environment was designed, that has a very welcoming approach, while maintaining the intergrity of both the new and the old block. Though the old and new blocks portray their individuality, they showcase two different eras forming a new asthetic together.
The two blocks are fused subtly with a eloquent palette of materials and colours, tiles, bricks and timber cladding while the pool helps to soften the merging of these two starkly variant structures. The pool hugs the new extention as it narrates the evolution of the design and the adaption of the new connotations of the cottage giving the whole new creation the look of a floating houseboat. The pool however, helps to keep the microclimate of the house cool.
Glass Mosaic tiles inside the pool gives a natural shimmer to the water which casts reflections on the soffits and ceilings creating unique light effects.
The carport, an extension to the front verandah, exposes traditional rafters and ceiling lining boards that completes the verandah and is held together by a moat that loops around flowing below the cantilevered overhang providing a sense of balance. The extension however reinforces the street presence and proportions.
The new house, a tinge of modern architecture, has an open-plan with living and dining areas flexible in use and dimensions. The rooms are spacious enough with an excess of shelving and hidden storage, unlike the previous house.
A shift in the two volumes of the new house creates a generous cantilevered first floor master bedroom fulfilling the purpose of providing shade and a rainproof cover to the outdoor terrace. The planning is such that the windows of the back elevation of the Master Bedroom is intended to direct away from the side neighbours.
The windows have been designed such that the essence of the pool can be felt inside the house as well. Fully recessed window frames provide total transparency. The glazing plays hide and seek with the sun and the swimming pool creating reflections in the interiors while the stained timber louvres of the shutter cast stripy shadows. Motorised sliding shutters are provided that take care of adequate privacy and solar control. L.S.S.A. (A.C.D.C.), the louvres contractor, has applied new technologies to these remote controlled screens.
The bedrooms on the upper floor have two sliding shutters that can be manually controlled.. By dividing the first floor walls in three strips, the horizontality is reinforced; a lower structural spandrel below the windows, finished with an acrylic white render, a middle window strip with timber shutters and timber “log cabin” weatherboards, and an upper roof edge also finished with an acrylic render.
While others prefer the easy way of removing the old ornamentation, repairing and adapting the old features have been adopted by these designers. The interiors are detailed and designed with skilled craftsmenship to match up to the level of the heritage construction techniques. A custom made light floats in an airy space all over the house while the ‘S’ wave sheer curtains blow in the wind. A ribbon of white plaster is finished with enamel paint to protect it from children’s finger prints. The engineered oak floor flushs with the window frame.
Uniquely designed, the elliptical staircase, links the old house to the new: the first floor bedrooms and the ground floor spaces, while providing ample of space for storage. The staircase design portray ‘balanced treads’, each tread originated from a moving centerpoint, providing an organic but natural and regular ascent.
A wooden pallete complementing the white washed walls forms the kitchen and the dining space. The floor-to-ceiling curved windows present in the kitchen strengthen the presence of the pool to the interior spaces, creating a sense of the built structures seemingly rising out from the water and giving an incredibly contemporary aesthetic to the site as a whole.
A fully transparent outdoor table chairs and a concrete BBQ break the timber symmetry. The outside merges with the inside in the backyard. Western Red Cedar ceiling and Blackbutt decking mirror the irregular back elevation.
The bathroom has been beautifully designed with bronze accents and handmade encaustic tiles from Europe. The vintage mirror and lights complementing to it, adds up to the whole design
Randwick City Urban Design Award 2013 – Single Dwelling House (Alterations & Additions)
Randwick City Urban Design Award 2013 – Heritage/Adaptive Reuse (Highly Commended)
ABOUT LUIGI ROSSELLI ARCHITECTS:
Luigi Rosselli, an Italian born architect, practices in Australia. His work has predominantly been residential, but has started working on a series of restaurants later. He says that his approach to architecture is “humanist, where people and environment take precedence over preconceived design dogmas”.
Luigi Rosselli Archiects is an Australian based practice, a team of architects and interior designers under the guidance of Luigi Rosselli and his decades of international experience, that works on a very wide range of projects right from offices, libraries, childcare to factories, wineries, chapels. It is a carbon neutral practice that encourages sustainable building
practises portraying their skills in rammed earth, air-conditioning-free spaces and energy efficiency.
With a humanist approach to design, this firm instills good design and humane architecture that develops affinities creating sympathetic buildings and are renowned for their houses, residential architecture, heritage designs and adaptive re-use designs.