Located in Bellevue Hill, Australia, Luigi Rosselli Architects’ Homage to Oscar House is a renovation that turns back time rather than projecting the future. The Sydney property was designed in classic modernist style by George Reeves in 1963.
The clients felt that the layout of the home worked well, but that the style of it had begun to show its age. The clients also wanted Luigi Rosselli Architects to improve connections between indoor and outdoor spaces. So, top of the order was to open the house up while finding a way to refresh Homage to Oscar House without overriding its classic modernist appeal.
Legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer was a central inspiration for this renovation, hence the house’s name, and his influences can be found throughout. Take the fluidly curved concrete awning that covers the entry for example, or the restored original string and cantilevered switchback staircase.
The most striking aspect of the project is the space and natural light within the communal spaces. Skylights have been added while walls and heavily framed windows have been replaced by floor-to-ceiling windows which, when open, draw in fresh air and light, blurring the boundary between interior and exterior.
The elegant colour and material palette further links the interior and exterior, neutral hues of the interior design by Romaine Alwill contrast with the natural outside but provide it with an immaculate, emphatic blank canvas on which to grow.
This form of modernist architecture is rare to see, but after touring Homage to Oscar House, we hope it’s ready for a revival. The sweeping shapes, mixture of textures and diverse patterns are brimming with character.
Photography by Prue Roscoe.