Robson Rak’s latest residential project in Melbourne was designed around the concept of ‘Terra Firma’, meaning ‘on solid ground’.

For Melbourne-based architecture and interior design firm Robson Rak, the home had to align with their commitment to enduring and grounding natural materials. Further to that, the ‘greening’ of spaces was instrumental in creating a tranquil home that promoted the homeowners’ well-being. Architect Kathryn Robson aptly describes the home as “multi-layered and tactile, fostering a deep connection to nature”.

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The open-plan living space is defined by a base palette of squiggly-shaped terracotta floor tiles and polished plaster walls and ceilings, painted in a muted grey.

“The materials in Terra Firma will age gracefully with time, just as they would in the natural world,” Kathryn says. Upon entering the home, you’re greeted with squiggly-shaped terracotta floor tiles, which, as the architect notes, will naturally become polished with use, serving as a reminder of the passage of time. A timber-lined corridor leads to an open-plan living space comprising the kitchen, dining and living areas, all embracing a lush back garden. Polished plaster walls and ceilings, painted in a muted grey, impart a textural quality to the light-filled space.

In the kitchen, Robson Rak layered solid materials, including green-stained timber veneer cabinetry and marble-topped benches. Transitioning into the dining space, softer materials such as earth-toned leathers, are introduced. In the living room, textured bricks serve as an unexpected design detail while creating a link to the building’s exterior. 

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The dining area features a long, green-leather-upholstered built-in seat and Miyazaki Sail chairs. Wall sculpture by Chris Rak.

“Our homes are designed with a commitment to heliotropism and human well-being through a deep connection to nature,” co-founder Chris Rak remarks. In addition to the prominent inclusion of natural materials, Terra Firma enhances human well-being through the ‘greening’ of spaces – an idea that has gained prevalence in the design world. The greenery manifests in the man-made elements of the home, such as the furniture and joinery and explicitly from the surrounding natural environment. 

Greenery emanates from the small courtyard between the living room and stairwell, from the back garden, from the vines that gently creep across the concrete boundary wall, and from the foliage that climbs up the internal steel-framed wall sculptures custom designed by the architects. The glazing around the living space also draws ample natural light into the interiors – another essential component of human well-being and living in harmony with nature. 

Terra Firma reflects Robson Rak’s aspiration to design spaces that evoke a positive emotional response by infusing warmth, texture and an abundance of greenery into the interiors.

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The green tones continue into the living area in the form of custom joinery, which has been paired with textured bricks. Artwork by Annalisa Ferrari; sculpture (top shelf) by Chris Rak.

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The powder room features a ceramic wall light by Anchor Ceramics.

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The materials in Terra Firma will age gracefully with time, just as they would in the natural world.”

 

– Kathryn Robson

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The study features a Nau Skip side table and Herman Miller office chair.

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Home Tour | Terra Firma House by Robson Rak
DEDON SEASHELL Armchair

The outdoor dining area features the DEDON SEASHELL armchair.

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