To realize the clients’ wish for a residence with an oriental flavour, this house is introverted, with an unconventional functional layout underpinning spaces carefully crafted to achieve an ever-changing day-light quality.

Externally the house appears as a grounded structure, made of simple cubic volumes crowned now and then with domes, its modest finishes including bagged plaster, clay floor tiles, wooden beams and columns supporting wattle-stick pergolas over places to meet and rest. The house is approached through a series of spaces, raising anticipation as one progresses from a leafy driveway and garden with glimpses of the cubic buildings and domes ahead, to the semi open porch with woven metal screen, through the loggia to the entrance and distribution hall of the house.

From this cavern-like hall, a secretive stair leads to the cellar below, and the route into the house passes through an interstitial space which relieves the muted quality light in the domed entrance hall with a flood of daylight penetrating from the upper floor via the main stairwell.

The sense of arrival is completed in the kitchen-dining area under a high barrel vaulted space, around which the activities of the house are concentrated.

Here more of the detailing and palette of materials is revealed – under the central barrel vault tall, double storey arches, framed with recycled clay brick pavers, are filled in with woven metal screens, their broad warp and weft affording filtered views between the levels of the house. Handmade lights created by the client with yokes, hang low within this central space off chains that at once contrast with the solidity of the arches, and complement their slenderness. The seamless cementitious plaster of the walls, the domes and high barrel vault reflect soft sunlight penetrating from the high windows above, and engenders a calm, introspected quality of space.