The House Holman, designed and built by Durbach Block Architects, didn’t even need such a spectacular design. Its location is that arrestingly beautiful. The unusually shaped living structure is situated at the top of a 70-meter cliff, whose chalk white walls spring up above the ocean in Dover Heights, west of Sidney, Australia. The Durbach Block team, however, carefully considered the specifics of the location, took Picasso’s The Bather painting as inspiration, and created a villa with sinuous, meandering walls and dynamic spaces, which connect seamlessly with each other, as well as with the vast expanse of water and rock outside. The home features a gleaming white vase-shaped outdoor rock pool, which echoes the cliff itself, as do the villa’s lower floors. Its fluid structure features living and dining areas that cantilever dramatically over the ocean. Inside, the furniture design and floor plan recreate the paths of sun, landscape and view, achieving an aesthetic effect that makes the building look as if it was there since the beginning of time, no matter how modern it may truly be.
Durbach Block Jaggers are based in New South Wales and they are the proud recipients of numerous accolades, including the Wilkinson and Robyn Boyd Residential Housing Awards, twice. They’re a small, yet vigorous team of eight, who design and create incessantly, with a passion, whether they’re working on the project of a house on a cliff, and art gallery in Perth or glowing toilet blocks. The team believes in “a rightness or resonance of a particular design, an ease of fit, which gives the design a sense of unexpected inevitability…” With every new project, the team attempts “a determined simplicity, a directness of strategy, a transparency of idea. We believe in an architecture that is not afraid of beauty or spareness or modesty.”