Somers House forms part of an investigative trajectory in our practice and for us, exemplifies some of the satisfying complexities of the house as an architectural genre.
Somers House replaces a building which was the repository of good memories but damp, poorly organised, without direct sun and at the end of its useful life. The new house solves these problems and addresses some important new requirements, universal accessibility and zoning to reflect a changed and changing family.
Importantly, it also reflects and builds on the particularities and mythology of its inhabitants, with a nuanced but emphatic relationship to place and flexibility to imagine future lives. Colour is everywhere – an intense, earthy palette derived from the ochres of Gija woman Queenie McKenzie – a response to our Clients’ love of the saturated chromatic vitality of Luis Barragan. The house is completed by a garden from our regular collaborator, Amanda Oliver.
Somers House is a weekender and summerhouse but also a place for family to gather, to host grown up children, partners and grandchildren. Of note, the house provides a dignified and visually gentle approach to universal design, and is a large dwelling which doesn’t oppress with the sense of empty rooms . The spatial arrangement supports privacy and separation but makes coming together effortless and celebrated.
Robust materiality consisting of oiled Douglas Fir, slate, ochre-hued render and shou sugi ban is intensified with insertions of red Persian travertine, raw brass, board-marked concrete, terra-cotta, cork, linen and paint applied in intense hues.
The earthy palette is derived from the ochres of Gija woman Queenie McKenzie – a response to our Clients’ love of the saturated chromatic vitality of Luis Barragan.
Age will hone the aesthetic of this interior, burnishing a rich, tonal landscape, and ultimately making an unmistakably Australian coastal house.
Danny Truong, Architect
Matilda Blazey, Project Architect
Patrick Kennedy, Design Architect
Rachel Nolan, Design Architect
Amanda Oliver Gardens, Landscape Consultant
Urban Digestor, ESD Consultant
Webb Consult, Structural Engineer