Australian firm FGR Architects recently completed the Courtyard Residence in Melbourne, describing its unusual structure as a rectangular origami of concrete and glass. The house is designed to introduce a calming atmosphere, elevating the experience of the home with its restrained material palette, notably selected timbers and fine steel windows, contribute nuance and elegance.
Concrete geometry and bespoke glass apertures deliver privacy and prismatic delight. An understated street elevation with implied, layered volumes realizes a heightened sense of intrigue and wonder. If the streetscape view is largely private, the interiors bloom poetically with warm materiality.
A low-rise form contains a masterful series of concertinaed spaces. Adopting the classic Mediterranean model of a central courtyard, the house thrives on external privacy and internal experience. Moments of stillness and exuberance exist within this continuum.
Water as wellspring is the focus of the courtyard as an oasis. Reflection and delight are contrasted by the monumental energy of matte and polished concrete. Muted surfaces celebrate a sophisticated rawness throughout, supported by the evolving dance of light, shadow, and reflection.
Despite its heroic elements, the house transcends its gallery-like scale and functions as a series of beautifully proportioned living spaces. Flexible options for opening and closing interiors with sliding glass walls makes for an immersive connection with the pool, courtyard, and sunlight. Equally, the house can be closed down as required to mediate harsh weather and optimize thermal performance.
Concrete walls and overhangs are incorporated for shade and shelter. This design vocabulary of burnished, creamy, concrete finishes flows from the inside out, often appearing almost luminous in its sculptural force.
Principal living spaces radiate from the courtyard yet offer delight, whether fully open to the courtyard, or as discrete spaces. Offering serenity – with plenty of scope for exuberance and play – the Courtyard Residence offers inspired scope for family living.