August 23, 2019
According to the architects, the Compound "is not for conservatives". You can say that again! Located on a conventional plot in a suburb of Melbourne, the design of this unconventional house has more in common with oil refineries or industrial installations than the nondescript houses between which it is sandwiched.
Created by local architects March Studio, much of the adventurous design of the house is grounded by planning considerations. In order to create a two-storey house with acceptable floor heights, the site was lowered to create a vast subterranean plot with walls of pre-cast concrete, not unlike an empty swimming pool.
The ground floor of the building is a rectangular steel and glass structure which houses an open plan living and dining space, with access to the swimming pool at the back and a car gallery, gym and cinema room in the basement. The most unexpected feature of the house is the six industrial steel trusses which sits on top this building, on which the first floor structure is perched. This structure is sheathed on three sides by a screen made of metal slats in a copper finish, arranged in an irregular way to create a sense of dynamism and movement. This gives the building an otherworldly sense of lightness, as if a precious jewel box had landed on top of a half-built bridge.
Inside this heroically industrial structure the interior spaces are surprisingly warm and welcoming, thanks to the enormous windows which let in plenty of light and the extensive use of timber panelling, which offers a pleasingly organic contrast to the proliferation of steel. Clever design touches such as the curvaceous master bathroom and the grassy earth ramp at the front of the house also help to soften the look.
This thrillingly daring house is a fitting tribute to the strength and beauty of metal as well as the versatility of the industrial style. It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but nobody can accuse its owner and architect for lacking vision.
Combine style and comfort with furniture in a contemporary industrial style. Try the Longwave swivel armchair from Diesel Living, the Utility Armchair U from Stellar Works and the MM8 table from Desalto.
For accessories, go for metallic and concrete touches such as the Smokestack fireplace from Frederik Roije, the Concrete Cloud toilet paper shelf from Lyon Beton and the Tip Top waste bin from Ghidini 1961.
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There was a time when the use of marble was largely restricted to floors, posh kitchen counters and grave statutes. And then, at some point around the mid-noughties, marble was everywhere. Could the same be happening to terrazzo?
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