Kingston Brio

written by:
photos by:
January 15, 2009
Originally published in Around the World

Aaron Roberts and Thomas Bailey, the young architects behind room11, teamed up to design a house for Aaron's parents, fixing the structure into the topography of the site.

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  • 
  The Kingston house remains unobtrusive and well camouflaged on its hillside site despite the architects’ use of modernist geometry. The outer cladding is simply plywood stained with dark Madison oil.
    The Kingston house remains unobtrusive and well camouflaged on its hillside site despite the architects’ use of modernist geometry. The outer cladding is simply plywood stained with dark Madison oil.
  • 
  The rear facade is walled in glass and faces the sloping hillside.
    The rear facade is walled in glass and faces the sloping hillside.
  • 
  The house’s residents, Diane and Hayden Roberts, stand outside to admire the views that their son Aaron has given them in his design for the house.
    The house’s residents, Diane and Hayden Roberts, stand outside to admire the views that their son Aaron has given them in his design for the house.
  • 
  The Kingston House abuts a rock shelf upon which architects Aaron Roberts and Thomas Bailey once sat, dreaming up ideas for the design.
    The Kingston House abuts a rock shelf upon which architects Aaron Roberts and Thomas Bailey once sat, dreaming up ideas for the design.
  • 
  The outside deck, made of local celery-top pine, welcomes both humans and the natural landscape further into the house.
    The outside deck, made of local celery-top pine, welcomes both humans and the natural landscape further into the house.
  • 
  An outdoor room works perfectly for family meals.
    An outdoor room works perfectly for family meals.
  • 
  Diane finishes up some paperwork at the kitchen countertop.
    Diane finishes up some paperwork at the kitchen countertop.
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  The guest bathroom  includes glass walls that look out onto one of the house’s “voids,” in which pear trees grow.
    The guest bathroom includes glass walls that look out onto one of the house’s “voids,” in which pear trees grow.
  • 
  The concrete floor acts as a giant thermal bank, storing solar heat well into the evening.
    The concrete floor acts as a giant thermal bank, storing solar heat well into the evening.
  • 
  Floral tiling on the walls of the master bathroom help ground that wing of the house, using earthly color and ornament to detail the space. As Aaron points out, it feels “more patterned, more personal down at this end of the house,” and the bathroom, with its view of a Japanese maple, is one of the major reasons for this.
    Floral tiling on the walls of the master bathroom help ground that wing of the house, using earthly color and ornament to detail the space. As Aaron points out, it feels “more patterned, more personal down at this end of the house,” and the bathroom, with its view of a Japanese maple, is one of the major reasons for this.
  • 
  The decor of the master bedroom remains stark, but a black chandelier brings a touch 
of complexity to an otherwise white space. The same maple tree can be seen through the rear glass wall, providing a visual focus for this wing of the house.
    The decor of the master bedroom remains stark, but a black chandelier brings a touch of complexity to an otherwise white space. The same maple tree can be seen through the rear glass wall, providing a visual focus for this wing of the house.
  • 
  Visible from the house's rear sundeck is Kingston Beach to the east.
    Visible from the house's rear sundeck is Kingston Beach to the east.
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