Moving towards minimalism and small space efficiency, architecture is becoming more and more adept at solving the problems of our cities. But looking from straight line to sharp angle to cleverly concealed cupboard replicated ad infinitum along our urban blocks, it sometimes begs the question: where has all the fun gone?
While many architects around the world are channelling their unexpressed creativity into pavilion design, Robert Puksand – founder of Melbourne-based practice, Gray Puksand – decided to channel his into the creation of his own, joyful home.
The Field House reads like a notebook of bygone colours, patterns and shapes from the 1970s. It is wild and it is irreverent, but its zeitgeist-eschewing qualities are tempered with a sleekness familiar to our modern-day sensibilities.
Taking its name from its amorphous architecture – which aims to disentangle notions of outside, inside and even ‘house’ – Puksand says Field House is meant to be read as a series of sculptural planes, rather than as a contained structure. The 500-square-metre site in the Melbourne suburb of Brighton is arranged over three levels. The primary living zone is contained on the ground floor, with ancillary spaces located above and below this level.
The overall effect is one of a layering of shapes. Curved, ramp-like walls appear as floating bookends for a central structure that features an unlikely medley of squares and circles. This radical sense of experimentation is amplified by small and contained bursts of colour, such as the butter-yellow perforated wall that sits on an isolated corner above the driveway entrance.
As the main space where life plays out, it was important that the interior feel similarly open, generous and playful. An open-plan design was conceived to minimise the number of closed-off spaces. The result is a pervasive sense of interconnectedness, even between floors. Sculpture is pervasive and inherent, from the magnetic orange island bench to the floor-to-ceiling glass panels with their frosted circle pattern.