A tremendous variety of warm, colorful and playful materials are used in this infill project from Morris Partnership, on a challenging street in Richmond, Australia. To one side is a nondescript block of flats. To the other, a Victorian house has heritage protection.
The materials used range from textured cement sheet, rusted corten steel, spotted gum timber, perforated metal, Alucobond and woven metal mesh.
Then rich browns and reds are mixed in to contrast strongly with the grey of the cement sheet. The combination of the warm colors and the reflecting greys of steel create a pearly light.
This almost pearlescent quality is created by the interplay of light on and through these subtle materials. The layering and transparency create a sense of elusiveness and contrasts in depth.
The use of very playful combinations of colors, materials and technologies transitions easily throughout the house.
Only the bathroom stops light dead with the hard edges of black and white tile.
Light flows through the mesh to gently filter light to the ground floor rooms. The subtle materials palette has been deliberately restrained externally and relies on layering and transparency to create a sense of both elusiveness and contrasting depth.
With most gentrification projects, architects don't also consider how to improve the neighbors' plots. But Richmond House features controlled watering which keeps the frontage lush.
This also waters the adjacent plots.
This generously creates flourishing gardens to each side instead of the previously barren dirt. The abundant water is supplied by large rain harvesting tanks hidden in a stacked stone wall along the entry path.