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A Home That Conceals, Then Reveals!

Architecture

Today’s home has a mysterious street front appearance – but peer behind the monochrome exterior, and a bright family home is revealed!

We chat with Phil Snowden, director of Ola Studio, about designing this unexpected home in a heritage zone, and drawing upon the dual inspiration of industrial loft living, and contemporary art gallery.

 

27th September, 2018

The minimal façade of ‘Ross House’ by Ola Studio. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Phil Snowden and the Ola team worked collaboratively with the clients to develop this sculptural home with clean lines. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The home was designed to showcase the family’s healthy art collection. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Chic details in this family home. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The family previously lived in an converted warehouse, and wanted to bring the industrial feel to Northcote. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The minimal home interacts with the outdoors. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A house of clean lines and architectural details. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Phil highlighted the successful relationship between clients, builders and architects as central to the success of this stunning home. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The master bedroom. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A moment of softness in this sculptural house. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Sliding on the ground floor open all the way to reveal the garden and pool areas. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

This home stands apart from its Northcote neighbours! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 27th September 2018

The flat black exterior belies the ‘white cube’ gallery space inside.

In undertaking the renovation of this Northcote home, Ola Studio worked closely with their clients (a family of five plus a pooch), who had a clear vision for the aesthetic outcome. Having lived previously in a converted warehouse, the family wished to translate an expansive, industrial vibe into the suburban setting, while also providing a space to exhibit and enjoy their art collection.

Phil explained the clients’ brief as a desire for ‘clean hard line aesthetics in a bold and sculptural gesture.’ The resulting outcome certainly makes a bold statement in the street, while maintaining a respectful relationship with the heritage precinct in which the home is located. The black silhouetted house exterior takes its inspiration from the neighbouring homes, echoing an old fashioned gabled roof form. The architect highlights, ‘we carefully managed the larger scale of [this house] with a gabled form that took the same pitch as the neighbours, but stepped in scale to establish a fitting rhythm within the streetscape.’

This flat black exterior street view belies the ‘white cube’ gallery inspired space inside. ‘The minimal aesthetics of the interior acts as a gallery for the client’s art collection’ Phil describes.

Ola Studio have married the public façade, living space, private bedrooms and secluded gardens through sweeping sculptural gestures, and strong consideration of how light enters the home. The upstairs area is ‘wrapped in black vertical aluminium angles’ and throughout the day, shifting angles of sunlight softly illuminates the internal spaces. A long void space that runs through the home also draws the garden and surrounds into the home, and connects all aspects of the property together.

Phil highlighted the successful relationship between clients, builders and architects as central to the success of this stunning home. The architect enthuses, ‘informed by our clients’ love of stark materiality and clean aesthetics, the house unexpectedly provides a warm and joyful environment.’ A reminder not to judge a book (or house!) by its cover!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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