Tribe Studio Architects has unveiled its latest project, a newly completed residential home Mosman House II on Sydney's North Shore. The robust and contemporary design features raw materials and fine detailing completely concealing the original bones of the 1920s bungalow within. Sitting in a prime location looking north to Middle Harbour views over Chinaman's Beach in Mosman, Mosman House II's transformation retains a nostalgic Mosman neighborliness while elevating its architectural language.
Working entirely within the envelope of a previous pragmatic cape cod roof extension, Tribe introduced a new garden level which appears as a solid, hovering concrete band. A new black 'house' volume sits within this garden, still allowing for view sharing with proportional tricks to diminish the sense of the scale of the house. Charred and blackened timber cladding creates a strong silhouette against the sky, and a recessive backdrop to the planting. The resulting home has an inversion in the sense of gravity and scale.
For the interior, Tribe has delineated the upper and lower floors of the house as private and public areas respectively. The top floor contains the house's private sleeping and bathing areas, with curated and screened views to the harbor. On the ground floor, Tribe used an operable glazed perimeter to design a new open living space, which includes an indoor/outdoor kitchen, living areas that face outward toward the view and sun, engaging with landscape, pool and water.
"Our challenge was to create a new architectural language that was more responsive to this beautiful site within an existing envelope," commented Hannah Tribe, Principal of Tribe Studio Architects. "Our client grew up in this house and now raises her own family there, so we wanted to keep a warm homey and neighborly feeling in an area that has become dominated by high privacy walls and fierce garage doors, while also applying a strong organizational rigor to an otherwise unwieldy house. Our aim was for this house to really reach its full potential, reflecting the natural beauty surrounding it."
Photography: Javier Saiz