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Jul302009

The Highgate Hill Residence by Richard Kirk Architects

Richard Kirk Architects have designed the Highgate Hill Residence in Brisbane, Australia.

Full description after the photos…

The Highgate Hill Residence is located on a south facing ravine adjacent to one Brisbane’s oldest ridgeline roads – Dornoch Terrace. The steepness of the rectangular site has resulted in a verdant and mature landscape consisting of a mixture of native and exotics, which created the opportunity to place the house within a rich landscape environment.

As a result of the steepness of the site and the desire to connect the house to an outdoor ground plane the house adopts two distinct identities – the north (landscape) and east (street) is a diminutive floating single level volume hovering over fine steel pins – the south and west (distant views) the vertical and monumental character is revealed of the tall three level residence.

To the North and East, the living level embraces the landscape as the upper level hovers over the ground plane as a protective canopy. In these areas where the building is more intimate, the materials and detailing are deliberately fine and diminutive. Fine vertical timber members screen the building upper level to the street provide a public façade of a veil of timber screens that works as a series of layers laid over the building volume. The upper level of the Northern walls have a façade of glazed vertical timber mullions or sticks which open the interior to the landscape and the filtered northern light through the tree canopy’s. To integrate the landscape with the living spaces on the middle level, the external openings are of a significant scale so that the internal floor plate opens up completely to the outdoor spaces that consist of a series of floating platforms of constructed ground planes of timber decking or turf. To celebrate the transition from interior to exterior the east and north facing walls open completely via series of stacking sliding glazed timber panels.

The Southern and Western facades reveal the height of the building and engage with the distant views are more monumental and respond to the distant views.

The rectangular form of the house is organized over three levels with the middle level containing living and dining spaces and also the point of entry from the street. The upper level contains all the bedrooms and a void that is located over the dining area. The lower level contains a guest room and a media space. The void within the house acts not only as a spatial device to orient and extenuate the verticality of the tall trees outside, but also separates bedrooms of the parents and children. The stair is an important organizational reference between the levels and is treated as a sculptural element that twists slightly within the void to allow its form to visually link all levels.

In response to the dominance of the landscape, the house is entirely clad in timber and uses timber glazed façade systems where each species is selected to age in response to its orientation and weathering.

Source: contemporist.com

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