Bellows House by Architects Eat

Bellows House is a contemporary single-story house located in Flinders, Australia, designed in 2020 by Architects Eat.

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Description

A single row of mature poplar trees, along the side unsealed road, forms a soft foreground to what we considered as the “main” façade of the house. The trees cast morning shadows on to the white concrete masonry blocks, animate the long articulated façade. The articulations, through the masonry and concrete detailing, together with the frustum roofs and layering of spaces, evoke street engagements and curiosities. These pose a polemic to the long façade which is essentially a defense mechanism to provide and suggest domestic privacy.

The formal entry sequence starts from entering the pedestrian gate on the main street: the dusty pink brick pavers provide the conduit between the native garden and the build structure. Through the gap between the long façade and the garage, an outdoor shower is provided for washing down the wet gears from the sea, before the space opens up to the inner outdoor santrum. Internal living spaces look into this north facing courtyard garden where the family gathers and entertains.

Once inside the house, the 2 largest of the frustum roofs reveal their internal structure: reverse step concrete pyramids. The skylight in the centre of them provide all day illumination to the living and dining areas. The heaviness of the structure makes the external masonry feel like eggshells, with complex engineering and detailing make the exteriors all the more minimal.

It is at the onset of the project to design a house that is permanent, anchoring the house in the sands, as opposed to the light weight beach vernacular, it is more of a bunker than a shack. While this house doesn’t have a spectacular cliff top views to the ocean, its flat inland village location prompted a response of a place-marker, which the locals now affectionately refer to as the “Pyramids of Flinders”.

Photography courtesy of Architects Eat

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- by Matt Watts

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