GRC house
Andrew Ashton photography

GRC house

Rossetti Architects as Architects

This is a new dwelling on an unusual site in suburban Melbourne. The building form speaks to contrasting adjacent buildings and the suburbs iconography to integrate itself architecturally. While the layout utilises large gestures in plan and elevation to deal with an akward site.

 

The site is triangular and abutting some modernist 60s houses, a tennis club, a church and a library. It was seen as important to bring together the large scale commercial and and small scale domestic, with the building being the pivot point for scale and use.

 

The starting point was the surrounding streetscape. The building picks up the setback and aligns with the nextdoor houses low garage and runs the same colour and hieght along the facade. It then reaches across  the site to the Tennis club on the oposite side. The building creates a „grandstand“ on the upper level overlooking the courts. In between these two statements a  grand verandah was placed in the centre signifying entry.

 

The form was run back to front and kept up on columns to tie in with the modernist residential buildings and enable the lower level living and dining area to be open and have views and access to the gardens. The projection of the upper and lower levels is set out to allow winter sun only access, with the concrete slab absorbing the heat for winter warming. The top of the grandstand contains 24 PV cells facing north to give a 6 kw system and solar pool and house hot water units.

 

The home owner produces Glass Reinforced Concrete. It was used as benchtops, upper level decking and on the spine wall.The spine wall is a long curved wall which runs through the site. It starts as a high fence at the front of the site that not only provides visual privacy for the pool but at street level it denotes the end of the domestic scaled street and defines the public and private zone. The wall continues through the house and creates enclosure to the living area and a lobby to the entry while leading you out to the back yard in the more public zone.

 

A series of shots of vine common in the area „ficus pimulla“ was acid etched in to the curved wall. This gave a play with light and softened the long wall to a domestic scale. The timber walls and antique bronze mirrors in the facade were also used to soften the large scale.

 

We believe the resulting building does create a continuum through a very disparate series of uses and very different building forms while maintaing interest.

 

Material Used:

1. Curved central spine etched GRC panels

2. Ground floor polished concrete

3. Feature panel to front facade antique bronze mirror

4. Upper level exterior cemet render on polystyrene

5. Timber spotted gum clad walls

6. The big verandah in alucobond

7. GRC decking first floor

8. Lights Copper industrial design

9. Benchtops GRC

10. Fully tiled salt pool

11. 6KW PV system

Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrand
The big verandah Alucobond
SuppliersMentone premix concrete
GRC manufacturerUpgrade interiors
Product Spec Sheet
The big verandah
GRC manufacturer
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