This futuristic-looking home is a colossal sculpture that houses generous spaces and elements inspired by fengshui principles. LYNN TAN finds out more from Mercurio Design Lab.
"The two interlocking circular pavilions, each with an internal courtyard atrium in the middle, emphasises the eight-form of the home, and draws light into it."
Designed by foreign firm Mercurio Design Lab S.r.l. (MDL), with project architect A.M. Architects, Villa Otto is the latest in a series of award-winning bungalows that the Italian studio has designed for the same client. As such, the client had complete trust in the team’s ability in coming up with yet another unique design.
“The owner’s brief focused on the number and size of rooms that he and his family needed. He left the style, massing and organisation to us,” says Massimo Mercurio, managing director of MDL.
The homeowner is particular about fengshui and other auspicious symbolisms, which inspired the way everything was designed in his home. “Otto” means eight in Italian, a number that is associated with prosperity in Chinese culture, and the basic massing of the home is also in the configuration of a giant figure eight. The home is sited against a forest backdrop, which reinforces the fengshui principle of stability.
The bold architecture, with its dynamic curvilinear form and stainless steel cladding, gives the home a sculptural presence that elevates it to the realm of art. The adventurous massing also led Massimo into making some bold choices about the materials and the construction system.
He believes that the interior concept of a home should strongly connect to, and complement the architecture. He draws an analogy with music: “The composition of spaces is a unique piece of music that moves as a melody from the outside massing to the interiors. This must be done within the same score and with a common vision, although it may use different tempos in the various movements.”
Massimo considers Villa Otto to be the epitome of MDL’s design philosophy. “Its futuristic design is a glance into the future, and we hope that it will become an icon for a new generation of designers,” he concludes.
WHO LIVES HERE
A local family HOME A Good Class Bungalow in Jervois Hill SIZE 30,192sqf (land area); 27,404sqf (gross floor area)
Two skylights combined with water features were explicitly inspired by fengshui. They symbolise the collection of rain water into the home, which is associated with prosperity.
MDL managing director Massimo considers Villa Otto the best example of MDL’s “integrative philosophy”, where everything “forms an integrated whole, a single experience, to communicate one driving idea”.
Visitors arrive under a porte-cochere, cross over a footbridge and enter a portal space whose focal point is a 2m semi-spherical bowl sculpture called Vase Otto. The light illuminating it directly from above creates a stunning effect.
The futuristic character of this room reinforces the home’s architectural language.
To get to the basement, you approach from the underground carpark and enter the basement lounge through a travertine corridor. The cruciform plan houses spaces for entertaining, such as a karaoke room, bar, wine cellar and home theatre. It is also where the spa and sauna are located.
“OTTO” MEANS EIGHT I N ITALIAN, A NUMBER THAT IS A SSOCIATED WITH PROSPERITY IN C HINESE CULTURE.
The home has an equally dynamic elevation to complement the dynamic plan. The transparency of the facade and outward thrusting walls and canopies give the impression of a fl ying saucer about to land or take off .
The outdoor areas reinforce the curvaceous forms of the home.
The joinery, light fixtures, wash basins – right down to the figureeight panel on the door – all mirror the design concept.
The bedrooms are massive, with the master bedroom occupying about 5,382sqf. The opulent size “celebrates the privacy of personal space as a kind of luxury”. Despite that, the rooms are largely straight, with the bedrooms having just one curved wall.
WHERE TO GO
Foreign design firm: Mercurio Design Lab S.r .l., www.mercuriodesignlab.it Project architect: A.M. Architects, t el: 6438- 3880
photos MERCURIO DESIGN LAB