Towers Road Residence

T.C.L - Taylor Cullity Lethlean as Architects

25-Oct-2017 The sculptural Towers Road residence in Toorak by Wood Marsh Architects was completed in late 2015. TCL had a collaborative relationship with the architects and client to design a garden with a ‘sense of embrace’—a poetic garden of ‘structured chaos’.


The verdant, diverse and textured forms of the garden provide a contrast to the muscular architectural concrete form of the building. The white painterly bark and delicate foliage of Silver Birches at the property’s Towers Road frontage act as a foil against the monumental raw concrete façade and provide filtered views through to the building.


The interior of the house frames views of the central lawn, cabana, pool and extensive garden, beneath the canopy of an established Plane Tree. This rear garden is a rich and layered composition of seasonal evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, perennials and ground covers navigated through arbours, stepping stones and hidden paths.


The south side of the house boasts a lush circular fernery nestled between the building walls. An array of layered plantings and a scattering of granite plinths create an exotic atmosphere.


Awards: 2017 AILA National Award of Excellence 2017 AILA (Vic) Gardens Landscape Architecture Award


“A sophisticated sensory garden that provides a delicate counterpoint to the monumental architecture of the house. Beguiling and theatrical, this garden is all about creating a lush, leafy escape.” - Jury Citation AILA National Award


31-May-2017 The Towers Road garden fosters a ‘sense of embrace’—a poetic garden of ‘structured chaos’. This has emerged via a collaborative journey with Architect and client.


This relationship with client and architect opened up possibilities of what a garden could become. It also allowed TCL to revel in composing, layering and patterning plants and other garden materials to create a sensory, aesthetic and immersive environment; one that is enhanced with ongoing care and cultivation.


Like many of TCL’s gardens The Towers Road Residence in Toorak, designed by architects Woods Marsh, employs an understanding of cultural and environmental history, garden design principles and horticultural practice. Inspired by natural processes it exhibits a tension between order, juxtaposed with fluidity and randomness; an interplay of strong form and diversity.


The garden respected the sculptural architecture whilst creating a garden of lush and luxury escape.


The verdant, diverse and textured forms of the garden provide a contrast to the muscular architecture of the building. The white painterly bark and delicate foliage of Silver Birches at the property’s Towers Road frontage act as a foil against the monumental raw concrete façade and provide filtered views through to the building. As the morning light emerges, a dappled light is cast across the concrete canvas.


The interior of the house frames views of the central lawn, cabana, pool and extensive garden, beneath the canopy of an established Plane Tree. This rear garden is a rich and layered composition of seasonal evergreen and deciduous trees, shrubs, perennials and ground covers. The garden is navigated through arbours, stepping stones and secret pathways.


Along the south side of the house a lush circular fernery is nestled between the building walls. An array of layered plantings and a scattering of granite plinths create an exotic atmosphere.


The success of the garden lies in the richness of plant form and function. Each moment is curated, and there is the sense of garden expanding beyond the limited bounds of the site. There are moments for play, relaxation and entertainment.

Towers Road House

Wood Marsh Architecture as Architects

Conceived as a sculpture to live within, the Towers Road House represents a shared belief between clients and architects that contemporary art enriches life in a profound and meaningful way. Challenging standard notions of domesticity, the abstract form of the building curves around the sloping site, referencing Christo’s Running Fence, introducing a public interface with conceptual art to the established suburb of Toorak.

 

Like a curtain, the substantial concrete wall carves out a series of landscaped arcs eliminating the archetypal boundary fence, extending the garden to the street and blurring the demarcation between public and private space. Simultaneously, this gesture generates a secluded private realm and the opportunity to open all living and bedroom spaces onto a northern garden. The top of the building is a horizontal line, finished with a three-dimensional hemisphere draped to gently penetrate the seemingly impenetrable mass below. Clad in zinc, the form references an inverted roof or dome, further transforming architectural conventions into sculptural elements.

 

Eliminating fenestration to the street, the site is entered from a winding path through monumental concrete walls and informal gardens encircling a spherical portico set below street level. The wall is punctuated by a single door that leads one through a dramatic double-height corridor. The dark, narrow passage creates a moment’s pause in the arrival sequence as the impressive verticality of the gently curving raw concrete formwork reveals itself internally.

 

In absolute contrast to the austerity of the perimeter structure, the building opens to a fully glazed northern façade, filling the interior with an abundance of natural light and embracing the landscaped garden and views to a 150-year-old plane tree.

 

Responding to the client brief, the program is separated by levels creating flexible, inviting living spaces with integrated art galleries on the ground level. The circular sunken lounge is designed to pay homage to the familial central gathering space around a fireplace. Accessible by a curving dual staircase wrapping around an exposed concrete wall, the private spaces are located upstairs, divided into separate wings for the parents and the children. Additional spaces to accommodate an art gallery, wine cellar and car parking are located in the basement level.

 

A large private outdoor space beneath the plane tree canopy sits adjacent a swimming pool and pool house, shielded from view by the heavily planted boundary. Small pockets of gardens are planted in the niches formed by the concave external walls allowing verdant views without compromising privacy.

 

Sculptural, the building’s contemporary language stands it in contrast to its conventional neighbours, satisfying the clients' desire for a bold and unexpected home embodying their commitment to contemporary Australian art and architecture.

 

In 2018 the Towers Road House received an AIA Victoria Award for Residential Architecture and in a subsequent property sale it was deemed, "Victoria's most expensive ever residential real estate sale” by The Australian.

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