"Oozy mortar" gives textured finish to brick home in Australia by Studio Roam


Oozing mortar joints create a “crusty crown” for The Brick House, a family home in Perth, Australia that has recently been completed by local practice Studio Roam.

Located in the suburb of Highgate, the home replaces an existing cottage on the site that had been occupied by the clients for several years.

Tasked with creating a new home while also allowing for future development, Studio Roam divided the site in half along its length, placing a skinny brick home on one side and a garden and garage on the other that could easily be dismantled to make way for an extension.

Brick facade of The Brick House by Studio Roam in PerthBrick facade of The Brick House by Studio Roam in Perth
Studio Roam has finished a brick home in Australia with “oozy mortar”

“With the demolition of the existing cottage, the lot was reconfigured with a life-long masterplan in mind,” explained the studio.

“The project is the first of two terrace houses envisaged for the site, with the second a mirror image in plan.”

“Inbuilt in the project is wealth creation, financial security, and a family legacy to eventually be passed to the clients’ two children,” it continued.

Backyard and patio in The Brick House by Studio Roam in PerthBackyard and patio in The Brick House by Studio Roam in Perth
Sliding glass doors open out onto a wooden terrace in the rear garden

Organisationally, the plan of the home has been flipped, with the bedrooms on the ground floor and the living, dining and kitchen and office spaces above, maximising the availability of daylight on the narrow site.

Large window boxes face the street in front and the rear garden, while along the eastern elevation sliding glass doors open onto a wooden terrace beneath steel beams to enjoy the garden prior to its future conversion.

At the front of the eastern portion of the site, the garage is housed in a lightweight metal structure clad with translucent panels.

The exterior of the home is finished in red brick, with the upper level treated with oozing mortar joints to create a “crusty crown” that will crumble and weather over time.

The brick of the exterior is carried through the interior, given a whitewash finish and complemented by concrete floors, white-painted timber ceilings and plywood cabinetry.

Kitchen and interiors of The Brick House by Studio Roam in PerthKitchen and interiors of The Brick House by Studio Roam in Perth
Interior finishes include concrete floors, white-painted timber and plywood cabinetry

“It was always very important to the clients that there was an authenticity in the material language and there was an honesty in the application and detailing of every material,” Studio Roam director Sally Weerts told Dezeen.

“The oozy mortar was something that the clients were instantly on board with which was a lot of fun for us – it’s proven to be one of the more divisive features of the project that people either love or hate.”

Interiors and furniture in The Brick House by Studio Roam in PerthInteriors and furniture in The Brick House by Studio Roam in Perth
Studio Roam flipped the home with bedrooms on the ground floor and communal spaces above

“We really liked the idea that over time this relatively simple brick building would weather and settle into its landscape, collecting sap and insects from the nearby tree canopies,” she added.

Elsewhere in Perth, Australian practice Grotto Studio recently extended a historic cottage with a charred-timber extension.

The photography is by Jack Lovel.



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