Architecture and Design Obsession
Fenwick St is a minimalist residence located in Kew, Australia, designed by Edition Office. The design of Fenwick St is particularly geared towards maximizing the visual connections with the larger landscape while maintaining harmony with the street’s public aspect. Carefully striking a balance between density and visual openness was crucial to ensure this connection. The architects opted for three distinct pavilions rather than a larger single structure, in an attempt to maintain coherence with the scale of the neighboring houses and to tie-in with the nearby green spaces. These pavilions were designed to not only offer views across the site, but also to frame and encapsulate them. Situated at an acute curve in the street, the division between pavilions forms at the pivot as one turns past the site. Connected by a common basement, the pavilions meld into the hill, effectively lowering the street-level scale to align with the neighboring residences and gradually increasing in height as they incorporate the descending terrain towards the escarpment. The living areas of the residences are designed to open towards the north, towards the river, and towards the valley, creating a seamless connection with the distant landscape. The bedrooms and additional spaces are oriented towards the green areas situated between the pavilions, ensuring privacy via copper mesh screening. Integrating the building into its landscape was a key goal in the landscape design of Fenwick St. With the basement anchored into the terrain, the building gives an impression of being rooted in the site. The mass and scale of the building are further nuanced by a slight shift and rotation of each floor plate, adding dynamism to the walls. Aesthetically pleasing copper screening, expected to weather and age beautifully, lends a sense of finesse to the robust pre-cast concrete structure. Creating comfortable, light-filled private spaces was of paramount importance, and Flack Studio delivered an interior that radiates warmth and calmness with moments of dramatic flair. Material tactility and evolving patina, displaying signs of life, align with the weathering copper screens and the growing maturity of the surrounding gardens. Navigation throughout the space is marked by carefully designed junctions and thresholds, creating an engaging interplay of materials.