studiofour architecture

studiofour: Ridge Road House: Art and architecture

studiofour blends the disciplines of art, architecture, landscape and interiors in a vision focused on nature

The most startling thing about Ridge Road is the seamless way the house nestles into the landscape.  The above quote speaks to the architect’s vision which informs the immaculate dovetailing of the house within that landscape.  In spite of presenting as a basic geometric shape with a nuanced rustic quality, the refinement with which the landscape envelops the house is poetic and singular; a fact underlined by the considered proportions of the building designed with nature and the site in mind.

It is impossible to imagine this house having never belonged to this location or site.  The attenuated black timber and the inherent restraint is what nature in this part of the world would have prescribed and why it has been seamlessly accepted.  Now established, self-evidently nothing else would have been quite so appropriate.  This reality is evidenced by the strikingly beautiful tea tree artfully framed by the living room window.  Moreover, the site has not been overturned or altered unnecessarily, thus nature has been honoured as much as it is possible; it has not been blithely intruded upon.  Additionally is a wholesome sense of descending into nature from the top road; perhaps leaving a more taxing or conventional life behind.

As the house steps down the site, an authoritative, and yet agreeable structural communication is set up between the two volumes.  , enhanced by the organisation of light and simple operational spaces.

Holism is seen in every aspect of the build as is art; aesthetically and structurally.  Irrespective of whether you are inside or out visual contrasts and charismatic elements appear at every turn, for example, the slice of both nature and the intermediary deck seen through the window when descending from the top of the stairs, or the tension between the positive and negative spaces in the quasi-cubic form outside the living room.

The robust interplay of strong horizontals and verticals across the decline creates invigorating counterpoints and cross-sections. 

The aesthetic focus and the sense of complementarity between the two levels facing up the slope is almost house enough, and

sustained design bonuses continue in the inherent beauty of the pavilion-like intersection between inside and the lower deck.  As a definitive and important area,

studiofour has articulated this space sculpturally as befits the vision of looking at all aspects through the lens of art.  Consequently, this intermediate space incrementally edges the house closer to nature; a process of unfolding which adds to the aesthetic rigour of the house.

studiofour’s combined passion and focus is supported by…ongoing exploration into materials…and fervour for rigorous detailing.

This house resonates with attitude, practicality and sophistication and the above quote expresses or underlies the prevailing focus on the details seen through a creative design process.

One of the most salient features of Ridge Road is the disparity and subsequent dialogue set up between the geometry, light openness and order inside in contrast to the wild untouched bush outside. 

This situation imbues the house with a becoming air of drama along with the more definitive sculptural and volumetric details. It is of a type which unfolds subtly and harmoniously from one area to another internally and externally.

While geometry and order signify restraint, in this instance they also imply simplicity and a utilitarian sufficiency.  Rightly, the focus is on nature and the strong, crisp symmetrical elements allow nature to be optimally viewed while utilising spaces.

The same elementary and yet rigorous approach has resulted in a mellifluous flow between the different areas and from inside to out.

Intrinsic moderation is a positive and necessary component in order to put the focus on the landscape, but also to establish moving around the house is a fluid pleasing experience as it should be.  Pale ashen floors and white walls contribute to the neutrality, sense of continuity and the experience of unimpeded openness.


Meanwhile, the kitchen / pantry and powder room have been prudently and eloquently organised.  While the house has a relatively small footprint the design and material surfaces ensure lifestyle is both enhanced and unencumbered.  Transparent solutions using quality materials and different textures means the ceiling height black wall in the kitchen is both a functional and prepossessing surface; the soft angular delineations embedded in the surface echo those of the living room window and general organising design of horizontals and verticals established throughout the house.  The central black wood burner and storage is another example of this aesthetic.  In keeping with the broad approach to creativity and continuity, the bedrooms are typically spartan ensuring no distractions from the external landscape.  The complexity of the neutral palette, judicious choice of natural and man-made materials aligned to creative and yet pared back design ensures that Ridge Road will age beautifully.

studiofour have demonstrated that architecture is and should be a holistic discipline with the ability to impact and enhance lifestyle in quiet, artful and yet conscious ways, while positively defining a strong sense of identity. 

The house would be a joy to visit and commune within because of the overarching commitment to design; this means it is not only visually exciting and practically sleek but comfortable to relax within while the stunning bush impacts the senses.

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