Creating a Sense of Time and Place When Building or Renovating (and Why It's Important)

"Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” - Frank Gehry

Which is a little rich, Frank(ly), considering no-one can tell the difference between your Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and your Disney Concert Hall in LA. Umm... one has a river?

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (or is that the Hollywood Hills in background?)

Disney Concert Hall in LA Disney Concert Hall in LA (I think?)

But I digress. He's got a point...

And yet, go for a Sunday drive and lose yourself (quite literally) in an outer-suburban cul-de-sac. As you drive past McMansion after McMansion you'd be forgiven for thinking that all modern homes look the same.

Suburbia 'Oh god, which one's ours again?!'

In contrast, this week's homes take their cues from the local area - ensuring they have a strong sense of place. Like a shirtless man in budgy smugglers, Field Way Bach would look out of place away from the beach.

Field Way Bach
Plywood, Timber Floors, Eames Chairs, Pendant Lighting, Sliding Glass Doors, Dining Areas, Bold Colours

Warrandyte House needs her riverbank (she's clingy like that).

Warrandyte House
Timber Floors, Sliding Door, Planters, Lounge Suites, Clerestory Windows

The homes are modern but they don't ignore the past. Instead, they reinterpret tradition to give them a sense of timelessness - Platypus Bend House makes you think of Queenslanders and Farmhouses.

Platypus House
Country Homes, Black Houses, Outdoor Areas, Water Collection, Louvre Windows

While the inner-city Petersham Courtyard House uses materials you'll find in a Workers Cottage. These wink-wink-nudge-nudges to the past, while not overt, make homes feel timeless.

Petersham Courtyard House
Joinery, Louvre Windows, Timber Floors, Lounge Suites, Timber Ceilings, Clerestory Windows

Now, I know not everyone can afford a beach house - no matter how humble. Or a custom-designed house cascading down a riverbank. Hell, I can't even afford slab of Cascade. But that's not the point. The important thing is, if you're building or renovating, consider what style and materials will make your home feel more at home in its time and place.

Thanks Frank.

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