To meet this requirement the designer specified exposed steel, a textured concrete render in both black and white, and extensive glazing front and back. Even the front gate is a sliding glass door. The custom front entry features a photographic laser print etched onto the door, which is an aerial view of the house taken by Belinda, a photographer.
Equally dramatic is the 7m-high vertical garden at the entry, and the boundary garden, which signals the sustainable design approach taken throughout the entire build even wastewater was recycled during construction.
"The gardens stop reflected heat from entering the house. They also help to insulate noise from the street," Knierim says.
A flowering rooftop garden plays a similar role, insulating the house and providing an aesthetically pleasing view for neighbours, and a natural environment for birds and insects, including bees.
On the inside, the house is open from front to back on the ground floor. To enhance the sense of space, the living room features a long mirrored strip recessed into the wall to create a flush surface. The mirror expands the view and helps to bounce reflected natural light throughout the interior. Strip mirrors also feature in all the other rooms.
"The ceiling in the living area is another highly reflective element," the designer says. "This is a high-gloss black latex material that reinforces the drama of the black and white colour theme."
Knierim describes the use of black and white as a yin and yang concept.
"Every white surface is balanced by a black one. For example, the right side of the living area features a white wall, while the opposite side is black even the kitchen cabinets are a high-gloss piano black, so they seem to disappear from view. Instead the eye is drawn out to the courtyard garden at the rear."