Two distinctly different spatial experiences dominate this family house in Australia. Almost like an architectural version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the house accentuates the contrast between different programmatic requirements and ways spaces are used. Designed by iredale pedersen hook architects, the Mosman Bay House was inspired by Charles and Ray Eames' film 'Powers of Ten', which explores the issue of scale.
The house stretches along the east and west axis of the site and features intimate gardens that help collecting winter sun and passive heat gain. The reference to the Eames film relates to the multiple scales of the site, where distant views and the tactile, private qualities of the garden and swimming pool constantly fluctuate. The upper level appears like a separate structure and contrasts the ground floor that is more introverted. A third space connects interior and exterior, upper and lower levels, one long space and a returning point of reference for day-to-day experiences. This area collects northern light and facilitates natural cooling in the summer.
The exterior cladding comprises different, naturally weathering materials. The lower level is finished in a white sand render, the foreshore of white river sand. The upper level is recycled and lapped Jarrah, a fluid vessel that meanders and wears the imprint of interior activities and furniture, a space that refuses to remain static.
The garden area was designed by Carrier and Postmus Architects who created a lyrical and holistic experience with a series of ‘dancing’ white barked eucalyptus. An integrated glass art by Pamela Gaunt layers the lines of the architecture with the meandering line of the river, reflecting pattern and colour on to the white island bench.
Photos by Peter Bennetts