Mori House is a harmonious blend of cultures united in design cooperation between Aires Mateus and MAArchitects. Envisioned as a modern reinterpretation of the classic beach shack, the house stands proudly against the backdrop of Port Phillip Bay.
This architectural masterpiece in Mt Martha, Australia, is a true testament to the harmonious fusion of Australian, Japanese, and Portuguese design elements. This serene sanctuary is designed for the clients and their multigenerational family to celebrate the beauty of beach life.
The name "Mori" translates to "forest" in Japanese, with the furniture reflecting Zen values such as harmony, functionality, and respect for nature – values that played a key role in shaping the spirit of this project.
The exterior is dominated by the use of concrete, while the interior boasts a minimalist design, stripped down to the essentials. Wooden accents, skillfully incorporated in the carpentry details, lend warmth to the stark concrete spaces. A highlight of the design is the striking concrete stair in the patio, encased by high concrete walls, which forms a commanding focal point. The house is divided into four distinct areas by a series of voids. It features a variety of sleeping spaces, including bedrooms, a bunkroom, and a tatami room.
Inside, linear skylights in the rooftop allow delicate rays of sunlight to filter in, creating a tranquil atmosphere. Aires Mateus' signature gentle yet spectacular details, such as the slightly curved concrete walls, add an organic touch and contrast beautifully with the dominant concrete material. The kitchen features stainless steel fronts that seamlessly blend with the grey concrete texture, while the open-plan dining space boasts a long, massive wooden table, which can be easily transformed into a workspace when needed.
The living room, designed with traditional tatami mats and a low wooden table, evokes the tranquility of Japan in the midst of the Australian climate. This space pays homage to Japanese modest culture and daily rituals, masterfully integrated with minimalist concrete walls and wooden details. The Mori House showcases the adaptability and genius combination of Aires Mateus' work and MAArchitects practise, proving that diverse stories can harmoniously coexist within a single project. The large openings and a series of carefully-scaled patios facilitate a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors. The entryway features a striking stair that leads up to a rooftop belvedere, offering breathtaking views of the bay over the tea trees. Embracing a material palette that includes off-form concrete and natural timber boards, this is architecture designed to endure.
The Mori House was built by Jeff Provan, founder of Neometro, who is well-known for his contributions to various design and development projects in Melbourne.
Project was shared with us by photographer Derek Swallwell. He is an internationally renowned photographer known for his exceptional architectural and interior photography. With over two decades of experience, his work has graced the pages of notable publications such as Vogue Living, Wallpaper. Derek's unique style amplifies the structural beauty of iconic buildings and interiors, showcasing their elegance and genius in a bold and graphic manner.