Yarra Bend House
This cascading house maximises a difficult external terrain.
Located on a steeply sloping site that drops away to the Yarra River, its rectilinear geometry responds to tight set-back requirements both vertically and horizontally.
It shows little of its spatially rich interior from the street. Once inside, the living spaces cantilever out beyond the envelope of the house with panoramic views of the city.
A skylight utilises a precise and invented geometry to enliven the space above the central stair, diffusing light and casting striking shadows. There is no direct axis or circulation path through the house, rather the journey is one of stepping down the hillside, turning and reorienting to views, both within and beyond the spaces.
A subtle interplay of volume, compression and expansion creates varying degrees of seclusion, and in particular an intimately scaled study space like a stepping stone set between the main levels.
The glass facade facing the river is in complete contrast to the private front of the house, shifting from opaque and coy, to transparent and expansive.
- Traditional Custodians of the land Wurundjeri Woi-wurrung people
- Location Kew, Melbourne
- Project Duration 2000 – 2004
- Floor Area 475 sqm
- Floor Levels 2
While the building has a necessarily strict and tight fit within its boundary conditions, this has not been to the detriment of the sculptural and spatial qualities of this impressive house.
Once through the entrance and past the mask-like exterior, what unfolds within is something entirely unexpected. Immediately the house opens up revealing Wardle’s play with volume, compression and expansion, passageways, and light and shadow.