Inspired by Geoffrey Bawa’s houses and Balinese villas, the client requested a place of permanent retreat. Yet the existing residence lacks open space or a scenic outlook. The lesser half of a large freestanding home split in two, this semi-detached dwelling is hemmed in on all sides by neighbouring houses. How to create exclusion, boundlessness and beauty within such constraints?
In essence, the project comprises a series of monolithic brick portals. Augmenting the existing masonry structure, these portals frame an idyllic rear garden and edit out less than idyllic surroundings. Ground floor living spaces are aligned in a continuous enfilade, while private spaces perch in a lightweight volume above. Framed by concentric apertures, the view down the house’s central passage magnifies the presence of the garden. This project embodies our increasing interest in an elemental architecture defined by perspective, proportion, axes and symmetry.