Cornerstone House

Locat­ed in the north-side sub­urb of North­cote, the Cor­ner­stone House emerges as an ode to the rugged beau­ty inspired by the project site itself, ref­er­enc­ing the quar­ries that once typ­i­fied the area. A stone quar­ry is an awe-inspir­ing place where raw meets refined at an impres­sive scale. The approach to the design is like­wise to push the oppos­ing notions into a har­mo­nious bal­ance that adds rich expe­ri­en­tial qual­i­ties into the fab­ric of the build­ing, ulti­mate­ly cre­at­ing an enhanced liv­ing space for our clients.

Lit­er­al­ly, a Cor­ner­stone House, the start­ing point for the design is a series of a dozen large boul­ders posi­tioned at key moments through­out the project. The mas­sive rocks are large­ly left in a rough state just as they are when extract­ed from the earth, pre­serv­ing and high­light­ing the mark­ings from indus­tri­al tool­ing. At points these are par­ti­tions, join­ery, floor­ing, land­scap­ing and even occa­sion­al­ly fur­ni­ture. In con­struc­tion, the cor­ner­stones were first craned onto site and the struc­ture was built around them. 

As a coun­ter­part to the nat­ur­al, split face stone, the archi­tec­ture cre­ates a fine-line, rhyth­mic ver­nac­u­lar with black steel cladding exter­nal­ly on the two-storey vol­ume. This is car­ried into the inte­ri­or spaces with black­ened tim­ber slats and fine steel handrails. Care­ful­ly con­sid­er­ing refine­ment and bal­ance, the house is infused with warmth through the use of nat­ur­al tim­bers, rose-tone met­als and colour­ful soft fur­nish­ings cre­at­ing a strong vari­a­tion in tex­ture and fin­ish. At times these are acti­vat­ed by chang­ing light con­di­tions through the day and at oth­ers they cre­ate more tac­tile inter­ac­tions for the inhabitants.

With an inten­tion­al empha­sis on enjoy­ment, the design embraces a sense of glam­our both inter­nal­ly and exter­nal­ly. The rich palette includes metal­lic high­lights and teal vel­vets which cul­ti­vates a dis­tinct­ly swanky atmos­phere. Func­tion­al­ly, the design is equipt with all the key com­po­nents for a good par­ty, which are dis­crete­ly inte­grat­ed into the archi­tec­tur­al detailing.

Respond­ing to the neigh­bour­ing build­ings, the mass­ing is set to one side of the site to mit­i­gate the impos­ing scale and sit respect­ful­ly into the streetscape. The roofline of the house fol­lows the pitched form and curves down float­ing over airy liv­ing and din­ing spaces. The posi­tion­ing of the house pro­vides pro­tec­tion from neigh­bour­ing sight­lines result­ing in a seclud­ed pool sur­round­ed by a gar­den set­ting. The hard­ness of the archi­tec­ture is off­set by the soft­ness of the land­scap­ing and the curv­ing walkways. 

As a sym­pho­ny of con­trast, the Cor­ner­stone House is ulti­mate­ly a robust design for a refined lifestyle.

Back to Projects