Natural light in an Australian context is really important in that it's generally a very harsh and bright light. So the skin of the building is pushed out from the glass line it allows it to soften the light coming into the building. The use of shadow is just as important as the use of light and in this instance we use shadow to reveal form and particular characteristics of the space. I'm Aaron Roberts one of the directors at Edition Office Architects and part of the design team for the Hawthorn House.
Joe from Flux reached out to us to create their family home here and was interested in what sort of home might really amplify the particular qualities of this location, like every suburban site they come with pros and cons and in this instance there was issues of privacy but the pros were these wonderful established trees across the property which essentially began the whole conceptual agenda for the project that being that by creating these spaces above that were incredibly private and insular pushing the glass line back and opening up volumes to the sky meant that we could really focus those views up into the canopy of the tree.
It's a really wonderful way of experiencing the transition of the seasons throughout the year.
The ground plane was seen as a singular platform which would dissolve as it reached the boundaries of the property that edge condition was always seen as part of the living space as a singular volume, the concrete shroud was never really to completely take away the neighboring context really it's about I guess filtering it and allowing a focus back into the garden itself each living space has particular directive views so this is this living space that we're in right now is really focused to the north, to allow that northern sun to come in and obviously then we frame up the very large lemon-scented gum on the front of the property whereas the rear pavilion it's really about a more intimate space it's really about kind of focusing inward with glimpses back to the garden. My name is Joe Grasso and I'm the managing director and founder of Flux Construction I also happen to be the client of this special home. The brief for the house was to design and build a home that was timeless and would endure. Sanctuary means lots of different things to different people but for us it was all about simplicity we were quite big on celebrating the structural form of the building and celebrating concrete, timber and steel, the building process took circa 18 months, incredibly quick given the complexity of the build, the scale and size of the build, we approached it from a more so a commercial perspective when it came to building a home we used lots of commercial sophisticated trades from an engineering perspective alone incredibly difficult with an entire building that pivots off a central core without any structural walls from the core to the outer perimeter and then having to build lots of cantilevering on a domestic site of circa 650 to 700 square meters crazy stuff but incredibly proud and happy that we stuck to our guns and the proofs in the pudding with what we've produced here.
The landscape was incredibly important for the project it was as important as any of the building elements this idea of cognitive restoration, green space is really helping us relax. The landscape was designed by Eckersley's Garden Architecture and they've done a wonderful job of mixing really exotic species with native plants. We're really interested in this idea that the home can be a sanctuary from our busy lifestyles and in this instance we're interested in I guess getting a sense of that as soon as you walk through the threshold of the property, we felt that the home should feel elsewhere in a way. The skin of the building is an in-situ concrete and the boards were recycled oregon and those same boards were then taken off the formwork and applied as the perimeter fence of the property so you have this continual language of universal materiality.
Balancing out the raw concrete we have warm and rich timbers and then accents around elements of joinery and doors where you touch the building.
Particularly some of the brass elements where use over time will patina those particular details. When I come back to the home I think I'm most excited about the way that the gardens are really coming to life and you get a real sense that it's growing and living still and that it's got a long way to go before it becomes you know what it was really intended to be and that being this sort of relic amongst the really wild and wonderful and luscious landscape. I'm incredibly proud of the way Flux Construction, Edition office and all of the subconsultants and subcontractors approach the home, I think everyone involved knew there was something special going on and that reinforced their commitment to the project I wish we could bottle it and reproduce it on every project we do because it's quite unique.