Maison Diagonal / Architects 49 House Design Limited
Photographs: Workspace W
Manufacturers: Belvedere, ROCCA HOUSE
Text description provided by the architects. A client who was in love with A49HD’s tropical architecture style approached us to design a new house in a similar style. They wanted something in our signature style, but also something that we had never done before. It was an interesting and stimulating proposition, to create a feeling of familiarity with something different and new.
The tropical styling of the A49HD was our basic foundation. It was simple and familiar. We then proceeded to twist the core of the house to achieve a new design that blends in with the natural surroundings, such as the slopes and the trees that surround it. The house was to be a multi-family residence, therefore, careful thought was given to the movement and circulation of residents. The homes of each family were clearly separated, while maintaining practical contact with each other. This way we got a feeling of familiar surroundings in the new design.
We used popular materials that tend not to be used in residential designs, such as brass which is more often found in palaces or temples. These brass elements have been incorporated into the architecture to create a touch of modernity and to reflect the owner’s penchant for gold and sparkle. This complements the base of tropical architecture which has been designed to be simple and down to earth. The concept of the design was to allow the house to age naturally and to evolve its beauty. Over time, brass will turn from gold to brown and eventually turn black while golden teak will fade with age. It also requires less maintenance as the materials can show their natural properties over time and the beauty of the home is naturally enhanced.
As these changes, the aesthetics and the atmosphere evolve. It can be compared to the vibrant color of the leaves brought on by the changing seasons. The natural world is subtly and deeply anchored in this house thanks to the selection of materials and its careful placement in the surrounding landscape, essentially merging architecture and the natural environment. This house is an expression of time and nature.
The use of materials to express an idea or a story creates architectural extravagance. It is rare to see a perfect balance between the old and the new. However, Diagonal House achieves this in a surprising way.
Particular attention was paid to the selection of materials and furniture which were largely custom designed. Even the bricks were custom made for different uses and had a simple, sleek design that was not available in the market. Although the client was not involved in the selection of the material, his confidence in us and his understanding and acceptance of exclusivity resulted in the proposal to use black bricks. This simple design choice added value and improved the property of the material, giving it a unique shine that created a play of light and shadow.
Another centerpiece of the design is the table which was born out of the owner’s love for wood, teak and good carpentry. An 80 centimeter wide wooden slab in the possession of the owners has been shaped into a tray preserving its original characteristics. A set of sleek table legs have been designed to contrast with the solid teak wood. Concealed lighting has been installed under the table to create an even more exclusive look.