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Issue 59 - The Life Outside Issue

Issue 59

The Life Outside Issue

Introducing the Life Outside issue of Habitus magazine. With life increasingly being absorbed into a digital space, there is never a more important moment to hold something tangible. In this context, the power of nature to have a physiological impact on our sense of wellbeing has never been more important. So how can we cultivate the benefits of the our natural environment in the most intimate of places – our homes? This was the question that helped to bring this issue of Habitus to life.

A Product of

Mid-Century musings at this calming coastal retreat
HomesBronwyn Marshall

Mid-Century musings at this calming coastal retreat

Australia

Photography

Katherine Lu

As an homage to the traditional coastal vernacular of the area, River of Life by Sandbox combines a sustainable underpinning with a contemporary focus on open, connected living.


Sandbox Studio’s River of Life draws inspiration from both the typical residential forms it sits within, and the refinement and boldness of the Mid-Century era. Coming together as a double-gable silhouette amongst a robust native landscape, an overall muting of colour and a linear approach define its presence in the streetscape. 

The conceptual framework of River of Life stems from the owners’ desire to disconnect from the hustle of urban life. A feeling of being transported from the first step into the home therefore needed to capture and celebrate the notion of transition and signal a moment of change. In embracing the climate, the resulting home is also designed to lessen the overall environmental impact over time, layered as it is with mechanisms that encourage the architecture itself to function as a moveable, breathing and light-filled series of spaces. 

The entire site is intended to be used for differing purposes in a holistic sense, with dedicated destinations created throughout that draw activities beyond the outer walls and into the various soft and hard landscaped areas. Throughout, natural light and the integration of low-maintenance materials have been prioritised to ensure that a feeling of calm would take over, with the curved entry void acting as a gentle softening into the home. 

With the Indigenous meaning of the location of Curl Curl translating to ‘river of life,’ the naming of the home also captures an honouring of place – both in wanting to respond respectfully to the existing site and natural elements, but to also overlay a flow state within. In focusing on the wellbeing of the owners, as well as those who visit, there are multiple spaces for both retreating and recharging, as well as for being together and connecting. The balance created as a result further adds to the feeling of calm. 

Once inside, the sunken living area references the Modernists who would create separation within a space through subtle level changes and partial height joinery instead of completely enclosing the area.

The flexible layout allows for future growth and changing needs that come with family life, while the seamless transition between indoors and outdoors enhances a connection to the landscape and encourages a use beyond the bounding walls of the home. 

Related: Barefoot House by Madeleine Blanchfield Architects

In an intentional blending with the familiar context of light-coloured coastal homes of light-weight structure, River of Life reinterprets the expected – in a subtle, yet controlled way. The integration of the landscape to the everyday functions of the home remains key, with the overall feeling of calm restoration felt in each corner of the home. Both as its own destination and one that resets those who enter, the use of a muted palette and restraint is what ultimately sets it apart from the neighbours. 

Sandbox
sandboxstudio.com.au

More by Sandbox at Newtown Lighthaus


About the Author

Bronwyn Marshall

Tags

ArchitectureAustraliaHome ArchitecturehomesHouse ArchitectureInterior DesignlightResidential ArchitectureRiver of LifeSandbox


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Issue 59 - The Life Outside Issue

Issue 59

The Life Outside Issue

Introducing the Life Outside issue of Habitus magazine. With life increasingly being absorbed into a digital space, there is never a more important moment to hold something tangible. In this context, the power of nature to have a physiological impact on our sense of wellbeing has never been more important. So how can we cultivate the benefits of the our natural environment in the most intimate of places – our homes? This was the question that helped to bring this issue of Habitus to life.

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