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A Coastal Concrete 'Tee' House

Architecture

Luigi Rosselli Architects have been on our radar for a while now, and we’re thrilled to be sharing one of the Sydney-based firm’s most exceptional projects yet!

Extending an existing residence, their adaptive four-storey ‘Tee Home’ is a striking addition to the glamorous beachside suburb.

11th April, 2018

The seamless junction between the pillar and beam helps to frame the views down to Tamarama and the beach. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Built above an existing garage and sandstone retaining wall, the new additions balance on the ‘tee-shaped’ concrete pillar, splayed out to carry the main living level of the house. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

CNC routed marine plywood shutters slide in front of the windows and terrace to provide shade or wind protection. The concrete was formed with woodgrained boards that were skillfully curved at the corners. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The impressive facade of the beachside Sydney property. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The lower floor of the house is a teenager’s pad, with rumpus room and a covered terrace. The concrete roof and pillar are reflected in a cement coloured vitrified ceramic tile named Memory Mood supplied by Terra Nova Ceramics. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The shutters form private screens when viewed from the street but are seethrough when the occupants look outward towards the view. Spence & Lyda’s (Gian Franco) Legler Basket Chairs. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The Oyster Chair By Pierre Paulin is designed for ocean contemplation. Ribbed wool in Charcoal By Nodi,  supplied by Spence & Lyda. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The outside flows seamlessly to the inside and vice versa, in this open plan living space. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Feature fireplace in the open plan living floor. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The spaces within the home effortlessly flow from one to the other. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The kitchen joinery is by ‘Building With Options’ joinery workshop. Stone Italiana provided a laboratory grade, reconstituted stone benchtop. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

The dining area of the open plan living space features an ‘Oracle’ pendant by Christopher Boots and painting by Joshua Yeldham.Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Love that deep basin! Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Sea green tiles lining the bathroom walls reflect the tranquility of living in a coastal location. Photo – Prue Ruscoe.

Elle Murrell
Wednesday 11th April 2018

Walking along some coastlines, if you’re like us, you might feel yourself torn between gazing at the crashing waves, or in the other direction, at the impressive homes clustered overlooking the water.  In such a situation, the ‘Tee Home’ is pretty likely to command attention!

This Tamarama residence is the work of Sydney-based Luigi Rosselli Architects, a renowned practice that prides itself on a ‘human’ approach to architecture, and creating buildings with a sense of flow. Luigi Rosselli helms the team, and designed this home alongside project architect Raffaello Rosselli, and assistant architects Gianfranco Panza and Sean Johnson. Luigi practised in Milan, Switzerland and New York before setting up in Australia, while his likewise inventive son Raffaello has a background in sculpture.

Luigi Rosselli Architects (LRA) identified that the beachside locale of ‘Tama’, as it’s affectionately known to locals, is ‘gradually being gentrified by a population that exchanges stock market tips while running barefoot to the ocean, with a surfboard tucked under their arms’! Among the mishmash of older beach pads that cling to Tamarama’s steep escarpments, they designed Tee Home to be built around an existing house.

Roughly 50% of the previous house was kept, including the large sandstone retaining wall to the front of the home, and the garage beneath. On the other hand, the distinctive concrete ‘Tee’ structure at the front of the house is a new addition. According to LRA, who worked with structural consultant Rooney & Bye Pty Ltd, it was designed so that it would rest on the single point of the garage below, that would bear the weight. This explains the ‘unipod’ shape to the front façade of the home, i.e., the ‘tee’!

Making the most of the hillside block, the four-storey residence’s main living area on the third floor boasts ocean views to the northeast, while a sheltered terrace to the northwest side is protected from the strong winds.

Raffaello also collaborated with the homeowner on the interior design. Together they sought a refined beach house aesthetic, embracing natural materials, exposed roof framing and joinery by BWO Fitout and Interiors.

Working with builders, Building With Options, LRA invested in highly weather-resistant materials, including marine-grade roofing materials and stainless-steel fixings. ‘The salt, humidity and wind are implacable agents of rapid decay,’ they explain. ‘If used properly, concrete is quite resistant to such seaside aggression.’

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First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net