- The Little Brick Studio
The brief was short and concise – and industrial style show home designed for entertaining. Whilst not a complicated brief it did present a challenge for the designer – this is not a city warehouse conversion where the style might come easy – it was a home in the outer coastal suburbs of Melbourne, it needed to comply with restrictive planning regulations and also to provide a practical and comfortable living space for the client. Located in quiet suburbia on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, the block was a generous, residentially zoned block with some existing vegetation to be retained.
Despite the industrial nature of the home, the interior remains light and bright with the use of the elevated void spaces and large glazed areas, offset by the lower ceilings in the lounge areas to create a sense of welcome cosiness. Materials flowed from the exterior to the interior and by leaving much of the structure exposed, the designer was able to contrast the rawness of the steel and recycled brickwork with the more refined spaces and materiality of the kitchen and bathroom areas as well as the linear form and the lightness of the stone and timber
The home was designed from the inside out, with feeling and aesthetic of the interiors and spaces defining the resultant building shell. Materials flowed from the exterior to the interior and by leaving much of the structure exposed, the designer was able to contrast the rawness of the steel and recycled brickwork with the more refined spaces and materiality of the kitchen and bathroom areas, the linear form and the lightness of the stone and timber.
An alternate version of Frank Lloyd Wrights compression and release theory, the designer used void spaces and ceiling heights to define the separation of the spaces and then continued this study of contrasts in the dwelling’s materiality, the textural rawness of the exposed steel and bricks, converging with the refined natural stone and timber. A combination of space, light and materiality come together a dramatic yet welcoming home.
The design optimizes passive energy principles for the site – well designed and located windows connect inside and out, providing views, natural light, passive solar heating and ventilation. The internal brick walls, constructed with local recycled materials for a low embodied energy, combined with the concrete flooring, create thermal mass elements throughout the building, with hydronic heating installed to cope with any weather extremes. Double glazed, argon filled windows and well insulated external walls assist with sealing the building.
Challenging the cookie-cutter coastal home stereotypes in a raw and dignified manner, Osborne House leaves a strong imprint on Mt Martha and on our imaginations.