Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

 

One would imagine that should one be asked to build a beach house, the least likely material you’d select to construct it with would be concrete. And were you to feel tempted to use the raw, harsh material, more at home in an industrial setting than the seaside, one might find oneself being rather modest with its application. But not so if you’re Luigi Rosselli. Somehow or other, by some certain architectural magic, the team has managed to produce a beach house in Tamarama that is both concrete up to the eyeballs, or rather the roof beams, and at the same time, its the epitome of beach-side living.

The sea, sometimes soothing, sometimes wild, is nothing if not mesmerising. Her shape-shifting, gentle waves, crashing thunderous fearsome breaks, are in all manner graceful. And one suspects the reason this concrete beachside dwelling seems so at home is due to the graciousness of the forms at play.

The house was constructed retaining approximately 60% of the original build. The new part was built above an existing garage and a sandstone retaining wall. The new additions balance on the T-shaped concrete pillar splayed out to carry the main living level. The new concrete ‘T’ structure to the front of the house was designed so that it would rest on the single point of the structure below. This explains the ‘unipod’ shape to the front façade and the need for a solid concrete structure.

“My favourite part of the project is the way the structure balances on one ‘foot’, like a concrete ballerina; and the ‘beachy’ feel of both the interior and exterior spaces,” said Luigi Rosselli.

The concrete forms are what make the building so striking, a nod to the 60’s curvature but also the elegance and organic shapes of the ocean. The concrete was formed with wood-grained boards that were skilfully curved at the corners. “For me (the favourite part) is the boarded concrete. We used a special off-white cement, timber formwork and process that created the light chalky but textured concrete that really relates to the context of the sea, relating to the waves, salt and sand”, said Roberto Rosselli, the project architect on the build.

 

Related: The Beehive In Surry Hills By Luigi Rosselli + Raffaello Rosselli.

 

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

Tama's Tee Home in Tamarama, Sydney by Luigi Rosselli | Yellowtrace

 

Oceanside architecture must be constructed with weather resistant materials: the salt, the humidity and the wind are agents of rapid decay. If used properly, concrete is quite resistant to such seaside aggression.

To adapt to the hillside the house was built over four storeys. Located on level three, the main living area benefits from ocean views to the northeast and a sheltered terrace to the northwest side that is protected from the strong coastal winds. Exposed roof framing and custom designed shutters are an interplay with the external elements, adding detail and layering to the otherwise two-dimensional concrete façade. The CNC routed marine plywood shutters slide in front of the windows and terrace to provide shade and wind protection.

The hero of the interior is the Roscharch Blotch fireplace, located centrally in the open-plan living room. It is suspended in the air, appearing as though it was made from recycled white timbers of an old weatherboard cottage, bearing a strikingly familiar shape.

“The sculptural fireplace is a nod to Finnish modernists Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase, who’s iconic form was originally inspired by waves, a fitting connection to this projects beachside living,” concludes Roberto Rosselli.

 

See more projects by Luigi Rosselli on Yellowtrace.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Luigi Rosselli. Photography by Prue Ruscoe.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

One Response

  1. James Munzone

    Great article! We were the builders of the Tama tee house, it is a shame that our company Building With Options was not mentioned in this article, as well as the joinery team BWO fitout and interiors.

    Reply

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