A Bondi home without compromise
The raw beauty of the exposed form
The brief for Plowman St, Bondi, was to create a new, free-standing home, which placed a focus on sustainability, was family-friendly and provided attention to detail to every aspect of construction. Celebrating and exposing the material language of the building rather than hiding it.
To realise this vision, quality craftsmanship and good construction were placed at the core.
Scale Architecture‘s response was to design a two-storey garden house, designed specifically around the owner’s love of backyard cricket. The linear organisation of the house creates a long north-facing side yard that maximised solar access to the house, whilst also forming the ideal dimensions for a cricket pitch.
According to Matt Chan, Principal, Scale Architecture: ‘This project had a pared back pallet and in order to achieve a sharp design outcome the building detail had to be spot on.’
From a building perspective this project was complex, and required a high degree of foresight and team collaboration, as elements such as formwork, brickwork and bespoke windows were designed to be exposed – thus requiring incredible attention to detail at every stage.
The concrete formwork was designed to be an architectural element, which meant that we had to pay complete attention to to the final form in every process. Consideration to material junctions such as the expressed steel and brickwork was essential to align the textured imprints of the the concrete around the building.
The end result was beautiful architecturally, making it obvious that consideration and care had been applied throughout.
According to Matt Chan: ‘The formwork of the off-form concrete was like a piece of joinery it was so beautifully and precisely done. There are pieces of it that look like marble, it’s beautiful.’
Scale Architecture also designed double-glazed windows and doors to sit within the steel hood structures. Building-wise, the challenge was to ensure those glazing units were adequately sealed as it was not viable to provide typical flashings. We integrated the window hoods as structural lintels and modified them further so concealed angles were welded within the frame to provide a mechanical flashing.
The dark bricks and light mortar provided a beautiful geometrical pattern to the exterior of the building. The brickwork gauge, window hood sizing and connection to the off-form concrete transitioned seamlessly into one another.
Looking at the faces now, the interaction of these materials appears quite simple and effortless, however there was considerable collaboration to ensure the fine detail was achieved.
The quality of craftsmanship and construction are on show for all to see in this project, and this was one of the major challenges of the build.
It had to be built right the first time, and we are proud of our delivery.