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Woods Bagot : Tidal Arc House

A contemporary amphitheater? A museum ? A stage under construction? What is this arc-shaped building set in the middle of the wooden houses of Flinders (Australia)? Erected by the Woods Bagot agency, the Tidal Arc House is a home unlike any other that sends waltz conventions and vernacular architecture to reinterpret the silhouette of the coast on which it takes place. Focus on a beautiful and rebellious home.

Small town of 900 inhabitants located at 50 kilometers south of Melbourne, the municipality of Flinders still carries in it the traces of the colonial time. Indeed, victims of a unique model of architecture, the contemporary buildings reproduce the pattern of the local chalet covered with wood inserted in a planning grid of time. A redundancy that did not seem to inspire the teams of Woods Bagot who realize, on a circular ground of 880 square meters, a residence as voluptuous. In response to the coastal environment in which it is embedded, the project is designed according to crescent-shaped floor plans occupying the eastern edge of an ovoid site.

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"There are no parallel curves on the project or right angles. Geometry is as dynamic as time and tidal movements. " Woods Bagot

The set consists of two concentric volumes covered with treated limestone - the materiality evoking the texture of seashells and coral reefs - stacked one on the other asymmetrically. Largely glazed, the two volumes are surrounded by concrete piles crossing the entire height of the building, the sloping roof covered with zinc in the basement, creating a balanced rhythm between horizontality and verticality.

The ground floor is accessible by two entry points: a double height located to the west and a private entrance to the east, both giving on a room of life as well as on three rooms separated by hulls curved edged with wood. Connected by an alternating staircase of wood and stone located at the north end of the building, the upper floor hosts the main day space - living room, dining room and kitchen - as well as the master suite. Finally, under the surface of the ground, a cellar with wine and a room of storage cohabit discreetly. A small terrace to the south completes the whole.

If the connection with the exterior is evident in the design and the building envelope, it is also more subtly present in the light-flooded interior and offering views to 180 degrees over the sea. To counterbalance this constant lighting, the different spaces were finished with darker materials: brown and black woods, exposed limestone or concrete, thus creating a contrast between the Australian seaside site and the intimacy of the home.

A daring project that breaks (finally) with a dusty architectural tradition.

To learn more, visit the Woods Bagot site

Photographs: Trevor Mein

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