Tasked with transforming a weatherboard Edwardian with a cluttered mix of rooms at the rear, architects Buck & Simple imagined a clever celebration of the connection between the home and the rear garden, with spaces that were delineated to allow for the practicalities of a busy family home.
Understanding that the best version of ‘new’ is often informed by many elements of history, a blonde engineered timber floorboard was laid in a traditional herringbone pattern in the original rooms, and Fibonacci’s The Naturaliste was integrated throughout the striking contemporary extension, adding thermal mass, insulation and another link to the past.
“Terrazzo has such a lovely history and I always imagine the process of artisans testing and selecting the combinations,” says Kurt Crisp, Director at Buck & Simple. “I love that you can feel the quality of real terrazzo, each individual stone. The texture can be so dynamic, and the colours are so organic.”
Buck & Simple’s meticulous specification process naturally started with the passions of the homeowners. “The palette all stemmed from a particular piece of furniture that the owners had an emotional connection with. We got quite involved with Fibonacci to get the right selection, requesting a lot of samples and photos of other spaces where the terrazzo has been used in-place. We needed to build the confidence of the owners and ourselves that it would be the right contribution to the project,” says Crisp.
Within the space, extra natural light floods the kitchen-end via a circular skylight, and floor to ceiling timber wall cabinetry draws the eye up to appreciate the scale of the room. A centrally placed riser acts a platform on which a wood heater is placed, its striking cast-concrete form perfectly complementing the more brutalist mood that The Naturaliste can evoke. Black steel framed doors add further strength to the scheme, softened with sheer grey linen curtains. Brass tapware and light fittings add a final element of luxe. “The Naturaliste brings a warmth, as well as settling the busy room, without feeling baron or unemotional. Practically speaking, this is a home, so it’s important that it could handle everything that a young family could throw at it,” says Crisp.
Known for its aesthetic of raw strength and consistency, The Naturaliste continues to be featured across a spectrum of projects, its unique characteristics taking on a new life in each. “Here we see The Naturaliste utilised spectacularly,” says Michael Karakolis, Founder of Fibonacci. “It’s almost chameleon-like ability to add weight and gravitas to a project, whilst simultaneously drawing warmth from its surroundings, makes it an incredibly robust choice for residential or commercial projects. This one by Buck & Simple is an exceptional example of that.”
On working with Fibonacci, Crisp commended the overall process. “There’s no lead time, samples are sent directly, and they provided multiple pricing options - all of this information really helped us to make the right decision.”