When choosing architectural projects for Tile Addict I tend to concentrate on tile-heavy projects that use high end avant garde ceramic tiles. But every now and again I come across the project where it is not so much the tiles themselves, but their application, that stands out. The project featured today – The Layer House – is just such a project.
This is a beautifully detailed new dwelling was created with a rigorous and sophisticated architectural logic. It is elegant, restrained and eco-sensitive; with an interior palette that is cool and muted. And that is why the limited use of tiles is so effective.
The stand-out feature is a bold green kitchen island clad in unremarkable small format green glazed tiles: the kind of tiles often referred to as ‘contract’. But the obvious care taken in the colour choice, location of the feature and detailing of the tiled installation, makes this a statement piece of the highest order: all achieved with the kind of tiles that rarely merit a second glance from most architects and interior designers.
The Layer House is located in Victoria, Australia. It is a custom-built 5,059 sq. feet contemporary family dwelling by Robson Rak Architects and Interior Designers. This coastal dwelling is close to the beach yet doesn’t have any views to embrace. The site is largely sloping from the north to the south and is made up of layers of limestone shelves and underground caves.
The client’s brief was to create a large, high quality, robust family home that could accommodate many guests and family members at the one time. It was designed as a series of layers with intersecting zones and private vistas. Nestled among tea trees, there are no sweeping panoramic views from the site, so the designers created some smaller internal courtyard spaces and vistas that allowed a sense of looking past the building.
The house is contextually sensitive and is built with local building materials and techniques. The two main materials used on the house are rammed earth and timber. The sand component of the rammed earth is locally sourced and built by local artisans. The timber will be allowed to grey off and age with time. Aluminium doors and windows are double glazed and thermally broken; while louvres are used throughout for cross ventilation. Hydronic heating within the concrete floor evenly heats the home in the winter.
While the architects used a simple palette of timber, rammed earth and pale concrete, strategic graphic insertions in the interior design excite and delineate areas. The green tiled island bench is one example. Using a hard-wearing commercial grade tile, the green also helps connect the landscaping with the internal space.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, August 2017.