Wood Marsh tops curving concrete walls with zinc disc for house in Melbourne
Australian architecture studio Wood Marsh designed Towers Road House as "a sculpture to live within", with high concrete walls that arc under a disc-shaped zinc roof.
Set in the Melbourne suburb of Toorak, the house features galleries for the resident's art collection and a living room with a sunken conversation pit.
Wood Marsh took inspiration for the house from the Christo and Jeanne-Claude's 1976 piece Running Fence, an art installation of over 24 miles of billowing fabric strung between posts.
"Like a curtain, the substantial concrete wall carves out a series of landscaped arcs," said Wood Marsh.
The house is topped by an unusual roof, clad in zinc and shaped like a disc cradled between the concrete arcs.
"The top of the building is a horizontal line, finished with a three-dimensional hemisphere draped to gently penetrate the seemingly impenetrable mass below," added the studio.
The concave walls are blank and windowless, facing the street as towering raw concrete monoliths.
At the back of the property, two curved walls of windows look out over a garden with a 150-year-old plane tree and an oval-shaped swimming pool.
The zinc-clad roof overhangs the walls where they dip in, forming shady spots punctured by an oculus over the terrace. Pocket-shaped gardens occupy the other niches formed by the irregular floor plan.
To reach the front door, a winding path leads down between the concrete walls to a single door in the centre of a cut-away arc.
A dark, narrow anti-chamber curving between the walls opens out on to the open plan living room with a sunken conversation pit.
Double black metal floating staircases run up either end of the curved concrete internal wall, leading to the first storey.
Four private bedrooms and bathrooms occupy this top floor, with a large walk-in wardrobe for the master suite in the parent's wing, and a playroom in the children's wing opposite
On the ground floor, an art gallery occupies one wing, with a large kitchen and dining space in the other.
The basement level features another art gallery, along with a wine cellar and underground car parking.
Towers House Road was built for Australian billionaire Daniel Besen and his wife Danielle. The pair never lived in it, and sold it for $26 million in 2016 after splitting up – setting a record for the most expensive house sale in the state of Victoria.
Wood Marsh is an Australian architecture practice, founded in 1983 by Roger Wood and Randal Marsh and based in Melbourne.
Concrete lends itself well to dramatic residential projects. Contaminar Arquitetos used raw concrete to create an elaborate cave-style house with angular walls, and Aires Mateus made a hidden house with a cantilevering concrete roof that emerges from the landscape.
Photography is by John Gollings unless otherwise stated.