CASA MIA explores a sequence of spaces oscillating between the intimate and personal and the public and community that are entwined by a dual coloured face brick skin. This perimeter skin performs the role of the architectural mask, an adaptable layer that simultaneously reveals and conceals internal moments, blurring existence and relationships
We introduced a few fundamental rules, the primary rule being to minimise building waste, to work with off-shelf materials, components and sizes and allow these to guide design. A significant exploration involved minimising brick wastage and therefor brick cutting.
The perimeter mask of bricks hugs site boundaries, this is perforated, sliced, corbelled, thickened, punctured and eroded. The skin shifts between density and lightness, thickness and thinness often revealing itself as a place of inhabitation, a seat and fireplace engaging with the street, semi-concealing outdoor bathing areas, moderating temperature to terraces and courtyards while filtering view in and out.
We desired a higher density form of living that supports young children. The property is 325m2 with boundary to boundary construction expected and a shared park integrated in to our design. The park is both garden and social incubator, playing games becomes communal, neighbour pets are welcomed and costs and maintenance are a shared responsibility.
The home includes a sequence of courtyard and terrace spaces insulated with cavity construction brickwork and breezeway walls. These spaces moderate outside temperature in summer and winter, protecting interior spaces.
As one progresses deeper into the home, spaces become more intimate, opening to a large courtyard.
We desired flexibility to adapt our daily use of the home and longer term flexibility to support aging in place. Sliding doors and screens adjust spatial separation while allowing passive observation. Living at one level and a future lift provision allows for long term and aging in place between levels.
The hanging stair includes amber light reflecting on to glazed bricks, Nonna’s 1950’s sliding door hovers above us, a special memory trigger and daily reminder of family connections.
A secret elevated terrace contains a spiral stair leading to a roof top terrace. This is a liberating space, a place to breathe while reflecting on distant views of ocean and escarpment.
Quick return access to the ground level is possible with the fireman’s pole, visual contact is maintained through the structural net.