Shou-sugi-ban Home by Hecker Guthrie

  • Inspired by a Brazilian sensibility, together with Jacobsen Arquitetura, Hecker Guthrie have applied a warm richness to bold geometric forms and minimal lines in this unique Toorak home.

    Located in Melbourne’s Toorak, Shou-sugi-ban House is set within a streetscape of grandeur and period homes and its boldness determines its own agenda. Its contemporary presence brings a confident sense of place and identity, combining South American and Japanese stylistic approaches. The external and internal material palette speak to a combined refined luxury, seeing strong clean lines, raw natural stone, textured walls and timber-lined ceilings and floors. Hecker Guthrie have purposely concealed hardware and mechanisms, to emphasise flow and movement.

    The dining and kitchen space features the Tubino Pendant alongside the Cilindro 58 Ceiling Light, available from vboaustralia.

    The living space features the Jasper II sofa, available from King Living.

    Shou-sugi-ban House takes its name from the traditional Japanese technique of charring timber for preservation and sealing. The application allows for combined weather resilience and a matte textured affect. The home takes form as a series of bold geometric forms that connect on its corner site and create an internal walled forecourt and landscaped area and pool by Paul Bangay. Timber fins on the upper level allow for a sense of privacy and screening, while also providing openness and connection between the inside and out. The resulting casted shadows, act as a moving dance across the site.

    Set into the property, the basement level creates space for the client’s collection of vintage and luxury cars, with an in-built Tesla charging station. Giving off a showroom-like aesthetic, an exposed concrete floor and a timber battened ceiling sit behind a full-height window looking in. A custom wine storage and tasting room is also tucked deep into this lower level, allowing for a full immersion experience, surrounded by the custom Libreria del Vino wine storage system by Living Edge.

    Floating stone steps brings you up to the main entry-level and living space which is anchored by a multi-purpose study at one end and a minimal and concealed kitchen at the other. The study space features its own custom-built and wired Arcaico stone desk by Kreoo which is complimented with the bronze Zenit shelving system by Pure Interiors. The hidden track full-height timber batten doors allow for an openness while also providing privacy in this space. The kitchen is designed to be both a sculptural element within the large open living area, but also an entertaining platform.

    The entry to the home is intentionally grand, with a large pivoting pane of timber, opening to the welcoming stair to above. This vertical connection is concealed behind rendered plaster walls, with a custom-built sliding wall to conceal the TV and allow for artwork to be hung in its place. The upper floor houses a series of intimate spaces and speciality bathrooms, where natural light floods from above and custom joinery storage adds plenty of personality. Lighting by Viabizzuno dotted throughout the home adds another level of refinement.

    Connecting each level of Shou-sugi-ban House is the dramatic and glowing presence of the opaque glass walls which wrap around the staircase and corridor walkway. While allowing for privacy from neighbours and the street, the screening also adds a sense of theatre and a gallery-esque feeling to the space through the experience of moving through each space.

    Hecker Guthrie have responded to the architect’s cues of an understated and refined sense of living. Shou-sugi ban House offers a richness in materiality, restraint in application and a relationship to its specific site and bold geometries, providing a deliberate and contemporary air of sophistication.

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