Otago Bay House - Typology Studio

Otago Bay House - Typology Studio

19 September 2019

On a lazy bend of the Derwent River, the house at Otago Bay by Typology Studio was awarded the Kevin Borland Masonry Award at the 2019 Think Brick Awards.

Connections with the landscape oscillate between enclosure and embrace. A masonry courtyard, colonnade, ledges and terraces soften the distinction and encourage connections between the house and the landscape.

The building entry is deliberately solid, drawing you in along a curved masonry wall that follows the contours. The living space is perched high, drawing the water close. A ceiling sweeps up to reveal views of Mount Wellington to the west and Mount Direction to the east. The lower-floor bedroom is embedded in the rock, the outlook sheltered as the ground falls away to the water. The west-facing masonry wall folds back from a pivot point to form a deep soffit lined with suspended masonry, and then wraps back into the site to form the terrace that, in time, will feel like a remnant of a previous structure. Deep masonry window reveals create privacy and form seats inside and out.

The site process involved numerous sample batches, prototype walls and experimentation with shot blasting techniques, and collaboration with the builder was key to achieving the desired outcome.

The concrete masonry bricks were locally sourced and custom-manufactured at Adbri Masonry Ulverstone, with a bespoke colour mix to complement the tones of the setting. Refined geometry and carefully selected materials have produced a home that is precise, yet textured and warm.