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.’