Fielding house, Canberra
Rodney Moss, of
Cox Humphries Moss
Rodney Moss, of
Cox Humphries Moss —
John’s house is special. It perfectly reflects his design and construction philosophy of seeking to execute everything perfectly.
The house is built of everyday materials, simply and without pretension.
Where it rises effortlessly out of the ordinary is in the exquisite attention to detail.
You see it everywhere.
For example: the foreman, Hans Jakobasch and project manager, Steve O’Ryan, meticulously ensured that all the junctions throughout the house are fully resolved.
It is a pleasure to walk into a room where not only materials are carefully considered but all the joints, junctions and connections line up, are beautifully executed and add to the composition.
It is in many ways an old-fashioned house, where architects and craftsmen worked together to create something extraordinary for the sheer joy of doing it.
Bellevarde's skills were recognised when the house received an RAIA Award for residential architecture in 2008. The citation noted that:
‘The attention to finish, attention to detail and quality of workmanship displayed is exquisite’.
Throughout the design and construction process John was continually encouraging me to improve every detail.
A prime example is the cantilevered sheet steel roof canopy over the front door—it is functional, elegant and appears to float free of the building.
The canopy was originally drawn as 120mm thick, comprising roof sheet, framing and ceiling.
It caught John’s eye and he asked me if it could be thinner.
I went away and ruminated on the idea, then revised the structural aspects with the engineer, spoke to the foreman about logistics and the fabricator about what his workshop could provide.
After literally twelve successive reductions in thickness I finally got John’s approval using a single piece of plate steel 10mm thick, eight percent of the original.
Clever design and assembly mask the means of attachment.
It is easy to see improving the canopy as just a small detail. However it typifies the Bellevarde attitude.
If you can imagine a better result then you have to draw, talk, research and discover whether it is achievable. And you don’t stop until you succeed. This philosophy is applied without fail.
It has been one of the joys of working directly with John. Everyone is driven to do their personal best—and John leads.
I can’t wait to do it again.