Nestled in amongst the banksia trees and coastal scrub on the Silverleaves foreshore is a pair of glistening red fins – a bold response to the client’s brief for a “grand gesture on limited means.”
Reminiscent of a Richard Serra sculpture, the two striking red glazed-brick blade walls slice through the site, organising program into linear bands. The colour of the glazed bricks varies slightly as they are mostly seconds – a ‘defect’ that has been celebrated in this project by interspersing the colours to create a mottled, reflective sheen.
Wedged between the fins are the discreet private spaces. Beside this to the east, a generous lighting-filled glass box clings to the luminescent bricks and contains the more public program. Cleverly located between the two blade walls, a corkscrew staircase guides the visitor between the three distinct programmatic zones through thresholds in the brickwork, emphasizing the red walls as the separator and mediator.
The Finn house achieves a maximum effect through an economy of means by employing glazed bricks throughout the interior of house – amplified in the double height living space – and as an almost civic gesture that projects out towards the street, offering striking colour to an otherwise muted neighbourhood.
+ Project facts
Project: Finn House
Location: Silverleaves, Victoria, Australia
Architecture studio: WoodWoodWard Architecture
Architects: Monique Brady-Ward, Scott Woodward & Jen Wood
Photography: John Gollings
Words: Jacqui Alexander