The best response to designing a home on a bland and anodyne site is to bring a suitcase of memories; familiar, traditional building forms that one feels comfortable with to provide a modern architecture that is reinforced by collective memory and is not unsettling. This new balancing home, sat on a regular and relatively flat block of land, is part of a recently established and growing suburb on Sydney’s North Shore, close to Manly.

Two wings with traditional gable roofing are superposed and crossed. Oriented along the cardinal points, the upper bedroom wing balances over the lower wing and family communal rooms. The barn-like white timber form of the upper floor balances over a solid oxblood red masonry base, running across the width of the site.

Built for a young family the bedrooms stretch from east to west, cantilevering over the smaller living quarters, providing a covered porch over the entrance to the residence and a covered terrace by the pool.

The interiors reflect the presence of traditional detailing with a contemporary sensitivity, for example in the vaulted cathedral ceilings and polished concrete floors. Robust timber trusses and delicate steel windows also provide a vibrant contrast, together with the strong pallet of colours.

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© Justin Alexander Photo  of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

© Justin Alexander

In Laura’s dreams were a fireplace, the security of steel windows, the comfort of high cathedral ceilings and the softness of the furnishings. Her nightmare was the sterile, hollow and hard edges of some ‘modern architecture’ environments. Luigi Rosselli Associate, Edward Birch, detailed the robust trusses, the raw concrete fireplace hearth and sliding steel partition that are balanced by the soft, sheer curtains, woolly rugs and furniture selected by Alexandra Donohoe, Luigi Rosselli Architect’s in house interior designer.
© Justin Alexander

 Photo 2 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

In Laura’s dreams were a fireplace, the security of steel windows, the comfort of high cathedral ceilings and the softness of the furnishings. Her nightmare was the sterile, hollow and hard edges of some ‘modern architecture’ environments. Luigi Rosselli Associate, Edward Birch, detailed the robust trusses, the raw concrete fireplace hearth and sliding steel partition that are balanced by the soft, sheer curtains, woolly rugs and furniture selected by Alexandra Donohoe, Luigi Rosselli Architect’s in house interior designer.
© Justin Alexander

The master bedroom, which hovers over the front door, faces the sunrise and a distant ocean view. A steep pitched roof covers the lower red wing. Laser cut plywood shutters frame and clad the first floor bedroom wing.
© Edward Birch Photo 3 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

The master bedroom, which hovers over the front door, faces the sunrise and a distant ocean view. A steep pitched roof covers the lower red wing. Laser cut plywood shutters frame and clad the first floor bedroom wing.
© Edward Birch

The white shuttered first floor overhangs the living room terrace. The bedrooms are kept cool by a combination of the external shutters, cross ventilation and a large air gap in the roof space. The house is air conditioning free.
© Edward Birch Photo 4 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

The white shuttered first floor overhangs the living room terrace. The bedrooms are kept cool by a combination of the external shutters, cross ventilation and a large air gap in the roof space. The house is air conditioning free.
© Edward Birch

The bedroom wing appears to hang in the balance over the pool.
© Edward Birch Photo 5 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

The bedroom wing appears to hang in the balance over the pool.
© Edward Birch

Porters Paints ‘Ox Red’ was applied to the masonry base, a memory of the hearth colour used in clay bricks. The white upper floor is pertinent to timber construction.
© Edward Birch Photo 6 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Porters Paints ‘Ox Red’ was applied to the masonry base, a memory of the hearth colour used in clay bricks. The white upper floor is pertinent to timber construction.
© Edward Birch

Full height sliding doors are concealed in the wall cavities, the courtyard can be part of the internal family room, only the light curtains veil the two connected spaces.
© Edward Birch Photo 7 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Full height sliding doors are concealed in the wall cavities, the courtyard can be part of the internal family room, only the light curtains veil the two connected spaces.
© Edward Birch

An off-form concrete bench terminates the long courtyard under the library window. Soon a canvas awning will cover the seat, and a table and chairs will invite the family and their guests to relax in the shade.
© Justin Alexander Photo 8 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

An off-form concrete bench terminates the long courtyard under the library window. Soon a canvas awning will cover the seat, and a table and chairs will invite the family and their guests to relax in the shade.
© Justin Alexander

A built in Electrolux BBQ, semi-recessed into the wall is the antidote to the butcher and footballer designed ‘beef scorcher’.
© Justin Alexander Photo 9 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

A built in Electrolux BBQ, semi-recessed into the wall is the antidote to the butcher and footballer designed ‘beef scorcher’.
© Justin Alexander

Dark oak treads and a fine classic steel balustrade provide a contrast against the white walls.
© Justin Alexander Photo 10 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Dark oak treads and a fine classic steel balustrade provide a contrast against the white walls.
© Justin Alexander

The encaustic tiles in the foreground form a square, oversized entry mat for the front door. The cubes pattern is an ageless design that one saw in the 19th Century encaustic as well as in more recent porcelain designs.
© Justin Alexander Photo 11 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

The encaustic tiles in the foreground form a square, oversized entry mat for the front door. The cubes pattern is an ageless design that one saw in the 19th Century encaustic as well as in more recent porcelain designs.
© Justin Alexander

Broadline glass has been used frequently. In the glazed front doors it provides more play of light and shape than a matt sandblasted glass
© Edward Birch Photo 12 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Broadline glass has been used frequently. In the glazed front doors it provides more play of light and shape than a matt sandblasted glass
© Edward Birch

The Morning sun streams through the broadline glass. The curve of the wall reminds us of Corbusier’s motto: “Architecture is the mastery of correct and magnificent play of masses, brought together in light.”
© Edward Birch Photo 13 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

The Morning sun streams through the broadline glass. The curve of the wall reminds us of Corbusier’s motto: “Architecture is the mastery of correct and magnificent play of masses, brought together in light.”
© Edward Birch

Modern home with Storage Room and Shelves Storage Type. A post-industrial bookshelf is without the obsolete television, and the books have become cups and saucers.
© Justin Alexander

 Photo 14 of Balancing HomeView Photos

A post-industrial bookshelf is without the obsolete television, and the books have become cups and saucers.
© Justin Alexander

This walnut storage unit is a warm contrast to the polished concrete floor and white walls. Being part of the large family room adjoining the kitchen, it provides the storage and comfort for a busy family life.
© Justin Alexander Photo 15 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

This walnut storage unit is a warm contrast to the polished concrete floor and white walls. Being part of the large family room adjoining the kitchen, it provides the storage and comfort for a busy family life.
© Justin Alexander

The skilled design of Edward Birch’s joinery intertwines the walnut stained shelving with woven aged brass mesh by Lockers Group.
© Edward Birch

 Photo 16 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

The skilled design of Edward Birch’s joinery intertwines the walnut stained shelving with woven aged brass mesh by Lockers Group.
© Edward Birch

Alexandra Donohoe’s interior design and décor in the foreground with the kitchen joinery in the background.
© Justin Alexander Photo 17 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Alexandra Donohoe’s interior design and décor in the foreground with the kitchen joinery in the background.
© Justin Alexander

Is this the best Luigi Rosselli Architects kitchen of the year?
Featuring:
-	Polished concrete floor by Stonewood Construction
-	Panelled joinery without the blight of any dreadfully designed fridges or appliances by Sydney Joinery
-	Statuario marble benchtop supplied by Granite and Marble Works Pty Ltd
-	Tekna-Nautic “Portreath” Pendant light supplied by Tigger Hall Design
-	Classicon 'Pallas’ table designed by Konstantin Grcic, complimented by Gervasoni ‘Grey 23’ dining chairs.
© Justin Alexander Photo 18 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Is this the best Luigi Rosselli Architects kitchen of the year?
Featuring:

- Polished concrete floor by Stonewood Construction

- Panelled joinery without the blight of any dreadfully designed fridges or appliances by Sydney Joinery

- Statuario marble benchtop supplied by Granite and Marble Works Pty Ltd

- Tekna-Nautic “Portreath” Pendant light supplied by Tigger Hall Design

- Classicon 'Pallas’ table designed by Konstantin Grcic, complimented by Gervasoni ‘Grey 23’ dining chairs.

© Justin Alexander

Fine cuisine goes with fine marble edges.
© Justin Alexander

 Photo 19 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Fine cuisine goes with fine marble edges.
© Justin Alexander

Two fridges and a pantry are hidden behind the panelled doors.
© Justin Alexander Photo 20 of Balancing Home modern homeView Photos

Two fridges and a pantry are hidden behind the panelled doors.
© Justin Alexander

Interior Design
  • Alexandra Donohoe for Decus Interiors
Landscape Design
  • Good Manors
Builder
  • Stonewood Construction Pty Ltd
Photographer
  • Justin Alexander, Edward Birch
Structure
  • House (Single Residence)
  • Style
  • Traditional
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