Builders give you plenty of options to personalise a home although it’s only an architect who can source exotic materials like the pale bricks developed for Peter Zumthor’s Kolumba museum in Cologne, Germany. That was the concise brief handed to Andrew Burges Architects when designing the Brick House located behind Sydney’s Northern Bondi Beach.
This benchmark brick formed the basis of a robust palette of materials that Andrew developed, and this unique property enabled him to continue his beachside preoccupation with indoor and outdoor layering. The soft grey external brickwork forms major structural walls and the fireplace surround. Blackened timber wall panelling clads upper walls inside and corresponding first floor walls outside. Blackened timber shutters appear on the front and back elevations, with different shutters inside.
From the street, the house looks a lot like a cube, but once inside, its mass immediately breaks down. A series of double-height voids divide the upper rooms into smaller forms and towers that are reachable by actual bridges. The voids above are lit by huge window panels showing only sky. The large windows are complemented by mirrored windows in the bedrooms and bathrooms that reflect the garden, both operating as a clever tactic to hide the occupants from their close proximity to neighbours.
One steps from the entry’s concrete floor up to the core of the house, the kitchen and dining areas, which are marked by a timber floor. This has void areas above it, so feels like the heart of the house. After crossing this space, one then steps down to the living room at the rear that addresses the extensive garden. At the first floor, three separate “footbridges” head in different directions. This creates incredible privacy between adult, child and guest zones. Each hallway is lined with cupboards made from one of the main house materials. Bathrooms are concealed at the end of a circuitous route.
In 2017 Bondi is at best, occupied by a frenetic mix of surf culture, tourism and construction. Andrew and his team managed to break free of the Bondi stigma and design an incredibly modern suburban home in one of Sydney’s most expensive and sought after locations. Best of all, Brick House is the epitome of privacy for the owner.
Source – ArchitectureAU