Sitting on a quiet street in Glen Iris, lined with low fencing and unremarkable architecture, Haze is far from a clone of the existing houses.
It’s a respectful and refreshing change.
Brett Nixon’s telling comments (Director, NTF Architecture) explain, in part, why Haze is such a spectacular success:
“Engaging with our clients and enjoying what their brief brings to the process creates opportunities and promotes interesting outcomes. Because without that input we may never have started from that point.”
The initial brief was, indeed, challenging: To deliver a sense of privacy and security in a large five bedroom home–built to the boundary–for a growing family (with a penchant for white box architecture) without creating an aggressive façade dominating the street.
Haze is NTF Architecture’s unique and bold response to that brief.
“We knew the brief was always going to be a bit confronting with the neighbours in its context. So we were looking at ways to soften the brief so that it wasn’t alien in its context,” explains Brett.
Enter the ever-calming Petersen D91 bricks. Used purposefully on the front fence, garage and entrance wall. “We just think they’re beautiful bricks sitting really nicely within a monochromatic colour scheme,” says Brett.
Most importantly, they offer great value to both architects and owners, enabling them to deliver on the brief and more.
“One of the things that was really good about the Petersen bricks, was their soft colour and texture. A straight-coloured pressed brick would have presented more aggressively on the street. The bricks were so successful in making what could have been a fairly hard element a lot softer in its street context.”
“And one of the other things that was important to the client was having a grand entry and feature stair. The Petersen bricks on the fence provided the privacy that they wanted,’ continues Brett.
Of course when working with clients, making sure they know what they’re getting is critical. This is where Petersen bricks come to the fore. “We chose Petersen bricks because they are consistent in their blend, so we got exactly what we thought we were getting.”
Paired with the bricks on the front elevation is a spectacular white perforated metal screen, which looks like softly pleated curtains. This practical design, which took a number of prototypes to get right, allows the owners to see out clearly onto the street during the day (and night) without anyone being able to look in. It’s also used at the back of the home, providing privacy for bedrooms and a sun shade for living areas.
Haze makes a beautiful and bold statement on this leafy suburban street. And without entering the home you can guess that it delivers everything the owners hoped for – a beautiful big family home, providing the privacy they wanted, and light-filled spaces that work really well now and will continue to do so when the children get older. But most importantly for the neighbours, as Brett concludes, “The front elevation sits beautifully for a house that’s so close to the street. It’s quite soft; I really like the bricks and I really like the screen.” And we couldn’t agree more.
Architect: NTF Architecture
Product: Petersen D91 bricks
Builder: ABH Builders
Photographer: Dave Kulesza