A fluidity of surfaces is witnessed from within the Yarra House designed by Leeton Pointon architects and Susi Leeton architects. Floors become walls; walls become ceilings; and ceiling open up to sky.
From approach, the entrance looks like a cave formed by rendered concrete walls. Only the slight and irregular black window frame insertions appear to allow light into the house.
But once within, light falls through the double-story void from above in all directions.
Light enters through openings in thick off-form concrete and cascades down oak and white plastered surfaces. It then washes over limestone and marble, illuminating art, furniture and every handcrafted and natural surface throughout the house.
The focal point and central pivot of the house is a sculptural circular stair. This transitional element divides the entire double-storey spaces as it stretches out under a steep exterior site.
Curved surfaces play against rigid lines in a style that the architects describe as ‘archaic’ – an effortless blend of both the primitive and artistic. Materiality was the primary factor in the selection of timbers, stone and every other interior feature.
The house is sited south of the Yarra River in one of Melbourne’s many beautiful neighbourhoods. The team of architects won an Architecture Award for Interior Architecture at the 2009 Victorian Chapter Awards.