Federal House by Edition Office
Back to Black
The little black dress, [insert your colour here] is the new black, any colour you like as long as it is black... Black has always been regarded as the colour of choice for style-makers and design aficionados alike. Few architects, however, have dared to design an entirely black home. As this rather cool house shows, they have nothing to fear and a lot of serenity to gain.
Designed by the architects at Edition Office, Federal House is located in the rolling countryside not far from Byron Bay in Australia. The house is in the shape of a simple rectangular block with a sleek pitched roof. A corner of the building cantilevers over the steep site, exposing the lower ground floor which is partly built into the hillside. The entire house is painted black, giving it a discrete appearance and helping it to blend into the surrounding landscape surprisingly well. The vertical slats of the cladding also makes the building feel much lighter than its monolithic form would otherwise suggest.
A pair of enormous barn-style doors at the entrance open up to an extensive deck which wraps around the main living space, with slatted screens on one side to provide shade. At the heart of the house is an enclosed courtyard filled with lush ferns in a nod to the verdant landscape outside. Inside the house wood walls and floors add much warmth whilst the sleek and comfortable furniture contribute to the welcoming atmosphere. The overwhelming vibe is one of calm and tranquility. This can be felt most keenly in the basement swimming pool - a dark, contemplative retreat which oozes zen. This is a great example of the transformative power of the colour black.