Merri Creek House is made up of two brick turrets. The front structure, embellished by a fluted vertical timber facade, is split into a rumpus below and study above, while the middle double-height turret includes the dining table and the timber ‘paddle pop stick’ staircase, crafted by the Atma team. The third turret, with its accents of coppery-toned Colorbond cladding (in Aries), is akin to a deconstructed ruin, appearing to dissolve as it approaches the creek at the home’s rear.
‘The circular turrets were a nightmare to build,’ Julian reveals. ‘They had their own individual roofs which had their own individual gutters. To make a round gutter and flash it is extremely difficult, everything had to be handmade.’
But the outcome is arresting. The tones add to the drama and the refined contours belie the challenge of contorting a brick’s straight edge into a circle. According to Brett Ward, General Manager of International Marketing at Brickworks Building Products, the architects chose a combination of Daniel Robertson Traditional bricks in Buff and Austral Bricks Allure bricks in Ariana specifically for the site.
‘Working closely with WOWOWA, it became apparent that the materiality needed to reflect the masculine design of the project, whilst being robust enough to withstand the temperature and weather extremes synonymous with the site’s proximity to Merri Creek,’ he says. ‘[Their choice] not only achieved aesthetic and structural benefits for the project, but environmental advantages too. Being carbon-neutral certified under the National Carbon Offset Standard, the manufacture of these bricks resulted in zero net emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, lowering the carbon footprint of the home.’