There is an air of nostalgia to the Three Piece House, comprised of two pavilions and courtyards. It is a nod to a simpler time, with its reclaimed post-war era bricks and solid platform base.
With the desire to downsize and live more simply, a couple commissioned Sydney-based architecture studio Trias to design their dream home in Newcastle. The site is defined by a distinctive wedge shape, with close neighbors on both sides. A further challenge came in the form of a flood control, which required the building to be raised 1.5m above ground.
In contrast to a conventional architectural response – which might lift the house up on stilts – Three Piece House is placed on a solid brick base. This elevates the building above the flood plain and lends it an unexpected feeling of heft and permanence. The resulting place feels anchored, despite being battered by coastal weather.
Moving inside, the architectural arrangement is simple yet dynamic. The main house is composed of two pavilions – one for the living, and one for sleeping. A reading corridor, which bridges between, faces out to the garden and, in winter, is bathed in northern sun. The brick paving continues through this space, unifying inside and out.
Across this project, the budget is spent thoughtfully, focusing on details that improve the client’s daily life: a series of pendant lights suspended in corners, touches of brass for tactility, and a tiled bench for washing in old age. This house is defined by a spirit of ‘less but better,’ with every decision a careful negotiation of longevity and value. Three Piece House is a dynamic and distinctive piece of architecture, that is at once crafted and unpretentious. It is a testament to small living in suburbia.