Edition Office completes black concrete home in rural Australia

A black concrete house

Black-pigmented concrete and black timber battens have been used to create this tactile home in the village of Federal, New South Wales by Australian studio Edition Office.

The Melbourne-based firm designed Federal House to be both a peaceful sanctuary for its clients and a sculptural object dug into a slope in the hilly, forested landscape.

A black concrete house
Edition Office has created a black concrete house

“At a distance the building is recessive, a shadow within the vast landscape,” described Edition Office.

“On closer inspection, a highly textural outer skin of thick timber battens contrasts the earlier sense of a machined tectonic, allowing organic materials gestures to drive the dialogue with physical human intimacy.”

A forested landscape with a secluded house
It sits on a slope within a forested landscape

Drawing on the verandah typology common among Australia’s colonial homesteads, a central living, dining and kitchen space is wrapped by a partially covered deck area.

This deck was designed to create a variety of different connections to the surrounding landscape.

It was lined with black timber battens that filter air, views and more direct sunlight on the western edge, and left entirely open for panoramic views to the north.

A bedroom with a private terrace
Sliding glass doors open the house to the outside

Sliding glass doors around the living spaces allow them to be completely opened to the elements or sealed off.

At the centre is a double-height garden void, illuminated by a cut in the home’s roof.

“The expansion and contraction of the interior allows shifts between the intimate and the public, between immediate landscape and the expansive unfolding landscape to the north,” said the studio.

A living room with a suspended fireplace
Light wooden floors and tan leather furniture feature inside

Along the eastern edge of the home is the bedroom block, what the studio calls an “enclave of withdrawal, rest and solitude” containing two smaller rooms either side of a bathroom and a large en-suite bedroom with its own private terrace.

For the interiors, the dark wood and concrete are contrasted by lighter wooden floors and tan leather furniture, with custom door pulls designed to encourage a “tactile engagement” with the home.

On the lower level is a thin pool open to the landscape at one end, which cools air as it travels through the building, up the garden void into the living spaces.

This natural ventilation is supplemented with a ceiling fan for the hotter days of the year and a fireplace for winter.

A swimming pool lined with black concrete
On the lower level is a thin pool

Edition Office has recently completed another rural home in the Australian town of Kyneton, which also saw natural surroundings inform a textural material palette.

The photography is by Ben Hosking.

Project credits:

Lead designers: Kim Bridgland, Aaron Roberts
Landscape designer:
Florian Wild
Structural engineer:
Westera Partners
SJ Reynolds Constructions

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