A few weeks ago Schiffer Books kindly sent me an advance copy ‘Australia Modern’ (15 Houses in harmony with the land). The initial concept for this book was devised by my editor Cheryl Weber. However, as the book involved it became a three-way collaboration with myself, Cheryl and Professor Phil Harris (a prominent architect in his own right). Originally, I approached Phil Harris to write the foreword. I also wanted to feature one of the properties that he had designed called Fredrichstrasse House, which is located in Maylands, Adelaide. As the project evolved it became apparent that Phil’s encyclopaedic knowledge of the Australian architecture was crucial to the integrity of the book. Even many of my selections were featured, certain residences were excluded because they (general consensus) didn’t meet the criteria.
One of the many challenges that an author encounters is being able to devise a cohesive topic that also has commercial appeal and is unique to the market. Before a publisher even would contemplate commissioning a book they would have to be certain it would resonate with readers. Fortunately, my working relationship with Schiffer has always been on an open door basis. By that I mean owner Pete Schiffer is always receptive to me pitching new ideas. Recently, I developed a concept about modernistic architecture that ticked all the boxes and I am hoping to include Crossed House by Clavel Arquitectura.
I have always been fascinated by architecture and previously favoured heritage style properties. However, in the last few years, I have become captivated by concrete. In fact, I have even created two timepieces made from this industrial textured material. On my website Total Design Reviews, I have featured some spectacular modernistic homes. Certainly, Crossed House by Clavel Arquitectura is a brilliant example of what is achievable when you instruct a renowned architect.
In terms of contemporary architecture, the cantilever is considered the ultimate illusion. This is achieved by ingenious engineering and exceptional design ability. Crossed House illustrates this perfectly by stacking two concrete boxes at opposing geometrical angles. This configuration is highly dramatic and makes a really bold statement. What makes this structural form so interesting is distinctive curved edges.
Externally the façade has an industrial appearance due to the formwork of the raw concrete. However, Clavel Arquitectura has used a softer palette of materials for the interior. Solid wooden flooring and bespoke cabinetry give Crossed House a homelier feel and avoid a totally brutalist aesthetic. I also love the abundance of glass, which saturates the home with natural light.