Life's a beach

James Forryan
Friday 05 Dec 2008

Stunning new beach house from SJB

The brief for this project outlined a compact, simple beach residence with a clear architectural form that would fit well into the native setting, and offer a comfortable, easy lifestyle for a growing young family. The central idea of the design was to maintain the dramatic topography and bushy character of the site. The building is a series of glass, copper and timber-clad suspended boxes, gradually stepping down and hugging the site. A street façade of copper clad walls flanks the inset glazed entry and a suspended timber car-court platform.

The dwelling is separated into two primary levels with the sleeping areas tucked under the living areas. The main living space has been treated as a pavilion with glazing on all 4 sides, opening onto a terrace which links directly with external stairs leading down to the garden area at the base of the site.The stepped composition and structural system ensured limited excavation and minimised site disturbance, with the entire construction supported on 30 steel columns, ensuring that the least number of established tea-trees were removed or damaged during construction.

The closed façades to the street and both sides limits and controls overlooking from neighbouring properties. North light is introduced into the south facing building via a narrow courtyard between the family and living rooms and the clerestory windows.The house offers a variety of level play areas for the children including the timber car-court, courtyard, terrace and lower garden. The robust design of this beachside retreat has provided the clients with the ability to open up or to close in their home to suit all weather conditions and occupant preferences.

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