The White House / Robson Rak Architects and Interior Designers
Photographs: Shannon McGrath
Manufacturers: Artemide, B&B Italia, Hub Furniture, Jardan, Living Edge, Mark Tuckey, VitrA, Volker Haug, ECC, Figgoscopecurates, Ke-Zu, Modern Times, Space Furniture
Text description provided by the architects. The challenge with this 1920’s Californian Bungalow was to create a l ight and serene, yet robust and hardwearing family home. A limited palette of pale, raw materials ensures the viewer has minimal distract ions when moving through The White House. By using a limited palette of a minimal number of light , natural materials the viewer has minimal distractions when moving through the space. The features become the grand double height voids, internal atrium garden, and the textured furniture and art that were careful l y selected to complement the pale, pastel tones of the house.
Double height voids and transparency from ground to first floor, by way of a sculptural white ribbon circular stair , invite the viewer to look up and through the small spaces that now have a grand feeling of height, l ight, and space. By maintaining the white theme throughout the house one is encouraged to look out through the spaces beyond and into the greenery outside. An internal garden atrium was designed in the centre of the house to create an open green outlook, viewable from al l spaces throughout the house. The atrium is also the first vista upon entering through the front door and separates the old from the new. I t draws the viewer through the existing narrow corridor into the new double height void at the rear of the house.
This project contributes to contemporary interior design practice through a more pared back, minimal approach to interior design. This is through the use of a minima l palette of materials that highlight the sculptural forms of spaces through minimal material change, with more focus on form, texture and light. Our world is leaning heavily towards the concept of “less is more” as seen in the Net f l ix special by decluttering guru Marie Kondo. After many years of our society living excessively and over-designing, we see our practice heading towards a more needs-based approach to design.
The concept of the ‘white house’ was embraced throughout all of the interior spaces and informed the selection of al l interior materials, as well as the selection of furniture and art. The result is a soft, easy space in which to live. The White House is a soft , gent le space that provides seclusion and a space to retreat in our busy world. The pa le tones of the interior design ensure that l ight and space are the priori ty for this family. They also allow the family to look through the transparent spaces out into the landscaped areas beyond, connecting with the outside greenery. This provides a space that is both mindful , and healthy.