Wrapping down the side of a rocky hill in Kingston Park lies Finesse Built’s captivating home. Set amongst dense vegetation, this home protrudes out of the ground capturing the panoramic, breath-taking views of Saint Vincent’s Gulf to the west and north towards the stunning metropolitan beaches of Adelaide.
The home is accessed by a suspended bridge that starts in the City of Marion and concludes in the City of Holdfast, at the garage entry. The site intervention limited the design to a small footprint, which was ultimately governed by a slope of 36.2 degrees, and hence was split over five levels. Although this added to the complexity of the project, as well as the tight access and egress that caused many logistical challenges, the home remarkably still achieved the vision of architect, David Bagshaw, to have a minimal impact on the earth below.
The home is propelled into the air and rests on two suspended polished concrete floors that are accessed by a structural bridge, constructed of 32 individually designed DeltaCore panels. As you enter the home, you’re led straight to the main living area which captures the stunning views beyond. The drama of the open kitchen, meals, family zone is intensified by the 3.5m raked ceiling, raw materials including timber and concrete, and large expanses of glass that flood the spaces with light. This functional, entertaining, and living space opens onto one of four Spotted Gum timber outdoor decks, revealing an ever changing 180-degree view of the landscape. The second level contains the bedrooms and bathrooms with considered placement of glazing, which accentuates views, maximises light penetration and allows cross flow ventilation. The location of the principle rooms to the northern orientation, maximised opportunity for passive solar design. The third and lowest level, the studio, is designed so that it can operate as a self-contained apartment either for a work studio, multi-generational living or potential sub-let.
The home was constructed in stages, building the bottom level and up to connect the home to the bridge and roadway, followed by the external cladding, before turning around and building back down to the lower levels. The home has it all, accompanying the raked ceilings, polished concrete floors, and outdoor decks, is a five-stage double lift, a four-level open riser Victorian Ash staircase with the fifth level closed risers with concealed stringers, underfloor heating in the ensuite, and gas fireplace. The home exemplifies luxury, sophistication and optimises coastal living with direct access to the beach only 50m from level 3.
Suspended off the ground, this home encompassed many designed and considered elements to aid in environmental sustainability. Comfort Plus glazing and concrete floors were used for heat capture and were accompanied with shading devices to manage winter and summer solar access. There was a high insulation specification, with heavy Earthwool insulation externally and internally, for passive control of temperature fluctuations, combined with the Formcraft party wall and roof blanket. The internal areas were zoned for independent heating and cooling, and windows were placed to take full advantage of breezes to promote cross-flow ventilation. The air-conditioning plant was placed in a southern undercroft to reduce heat load on units.
This home is nothing short of an engineering feat and a true masterstroke in design and construction. The complexity of the site and the many challenges it presented demanded endless creativity and quality craftsmanship, which resulted in bestowing the enviable coastal lifestyle. This home has a striking presence on a remarkable site and undeniably asserts itself through sheer volume and intricacy.