Dreiblättriges Kleeblatt: Portsea House in Australien von Wood Marsh
Foto: Peter Bennetts
Portsea is a town of 600 situated at the end of the Mornington Peninsula, around 100 km south of Melbourne. It is the perfect example of a wealthy Australian suburb: the houses are spacious, the lots less so, and the car is the preferred mode of transportation. The house designed here by the architects from Wood Marsh benefits from its location on the very edge of the settlement. To the west, there is a golf course; behind that, uninhabited forest and bush extend to the end of the peninsula.
In their design, the architects play with the contrasts between light and dark, open and closed. On the ground floor, a curved wall of rammed clay anchors the house on the lot, gives it thermal mass and screening it from the street. The semi-circular upper level, which is clad with dark wood, juts jauntily over it. Its dark shell and curved shape give a hint at the rest of the house, whose lot rises visibly to the west from the road. Behind the entrance, a broad stairway leads between dark wood walls up to the living area on the upper storey. Here as well, the colour scheme is limited almost exclusively to black, white and the wood tone of the flooring. Windows extending to the floor open outwards onto a wooden deck with a pool. A small, round inner courtyard allows daylight into the centre of the house while simultaneously delimiting the three wings. The largest of these is home to the living spaces, kitchen and a small bar on the upper level. The two others accommodate the bedrooms and their adjacent areas. At the rear of the lower level, another hobby room opens onto its own small inner courtyard, which is sheltered from view behind the imposing rammed-clay wall.