TRIAS, an architecture studio based in sydney, australia, designs its ‘three piece house’ as a courtyard dwelling for a couple looking to downsize and live more simply. located in located in stockton, a suburb of newcastle, new south wales, the project situates a modest, single-story house and studio along a plot defined by irregular boundaries. the design team organizes the volumes of the house with a skewed orientation to follow the site’s borders, and clusters to create privacy on the exposed corner lot. the materiality of three piece house is robust and resilient, befitting a windswept, coastal site. the textural timber finish and brickwork base are raw and rugged, and have been chosen to become more beautiful as they age.
all images by benjamin hosking
TRIAS’ ‘three piece house’ is designed for a site restricted by flood controls, a condition that requires the building to be raised. in contrast to a conventional architectural response, which might elevate the house on stilts, the house sits on a solid brick base. this design approach expresses influence by jørn utzon’s text, ‘platforms and plateaus,’ with a gesture that lends the house heft and presence.
the team at TRIAS conceived the project as a collection of three pavilions. the main house is composed of two pavilions — one for living, and one for sleeping. the third piece is a reading corridor, which bridges between and faces out to the garden. the rooms all maintain a compact proportion that is balanced by generous ceilings and carefully cropped openings. at three piece house, courtyards and gardens ramble between the buildings. the two main courtyards have distinctive characters. one is outward-facing and public while the other introverted and private. a southern porch faces the river and offers an area for interaction with neighbors while the northern courtyard is a sheltered space for retreat and gathering.
project title: three piece house
location: stockton, NSW, australia
project team: jonathon donnelly, jennifer mcmaster
builder: GTS construction
site foreman: ben gambrill
landscape design: TRIAS in collaboration with sustainable surrounds
structural engineering: mark sturgess, northrop
photography: benjamin hosking
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