An alteration to an existing warehouse conversion on Gadigal Country in Camperdown, Rosso Verde by Carter Williamson Architects is quality over quantity personified.
This former warehouse conversion was carved away to introduce a private courtyard and create a home resplendent in luxurious materials, sculptural arched forms, and warm tones.
In an area where space is at a premium, Rosso Verde rejects the prevailing notion that bigger is always better, instead focusing on the quality of each room, access to the garden, and abundant natural light.
Removing close to a third of the roof, the built fabric has been carved away to create a central landscaped courtyard, bringing light, air, and greenery deep into the plan.
The light itself played a huge role in Rosso Verde’s intricate layout.
“[We] loved the spaciousness of the warehouse but it suffered from the absence of natural light and a connection to the outdoors,” says practice senior associate Julie Niass.
“Natural light was important to the clients to help provide a sense of calm, warmth and safety. We increased natural light by adding the courtyard, opening up the facade onto the courtyard, and using voids throughout.”
The void is an architectural motif used a lot at Carter Williamson, especially when it comes to bringing “light into the plan” and for “phenomenological joy,” according to Niass.
“The void in this case did all those things. It greets you at the landing at the top of the stairs and sits beside the hallway circulation of level one, it serves to bring light down into the ground floor plan, it’s a visual connection from level one to the living spaces, sitting as a central porthole to all rooms on level one, and provides a spatial joy, a feeling of wonder, light and openness to the plan.”
Relinquishing interior space in this way helped to meet a brief that called not for more space, but for a more clearly defined and rational plan within the former warehouse.
As the design process unfolded, the structure revealed many unsuspecting qualities and developed into a set of interiors with a unique character.
The courtyard flows directly into the combined living, dining, and kitchen space, its ceiling punctured by an arch-shaped double-height void that joins the two storeys, drawing the eye up and the light in.
Its sculptural form is a motif repeated throughout the design in arched windows and doors framed in the same elegant, deep red steel that defines the courtyard façade, softening the building’s industrial bones.
Tucked away behind the kitchen are a butler’s pantry and laundry, with bedrooms, bathrooms, and a study occupying the first floor under a centrally peaked roof.
Rosse Verde is aptly named, as the project is all about colours.
“Colour was chosen to add warmth,” says Niass.
“We wanted an earthy colour to provide a warm and grounding felt experience.
“[It] was also a response to the client’s aesthetics – they had a love for ochre, terracotta, and earthy tones.
“We also felt there was a timelessness about the colour.
“The materials were all about creating warmth – we had this existing cold shell of a warehouse and wanted to insert a sense of warmth.”
Burgundy and dusty pink Breccia Rosso marble make a bold statement in the kitchen, the arched counter in perpendicular conversation with the void.
The rich, earthy tones pair delicately with brass-hued curtains and the thriving greenery that provides the courtyard with its own sub-tropical canopy.
The mild green of the living space ceiling complements the deep reds of the windows and kitchen counter, a contemporary softening and celebration of the existing warehouse fabric.