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Measure for measure – tiered design by Utz-Sanby Architects

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Pavilion-style home by Utz-Sanby Architects

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Coastal design often comes with twin imperatives – to optimise the ocean outlook and provide a comfortable refuge in inclement weather.

This home is shaped by its response to the elements, the views and the prospect of near neighbours in years to come, says Duncan Sanby, director of Utz-Sanby Architects.

"The owners were taken with another courtyard beach home we had designed and wanted us to emulate that style here. The house has front and rear pavilions that enclose the yard, with the front living pavilion providing shelter from the on-shore afternoon winds. A linking corridor on one side of the house and raised lap pool on the other provide privacy from the adjacent properties."

With no windows on these sides, the focus is out to the sea one way and inwards to the protected courtyard the other.

Each of the pavilions has two storeys. However, a generous use of travertine on the front pavilion helps downplay its presence of the lower level, creating the look of a stone plinth that the upper volume sits upon.


"Staggered levels back up the hill and flat roofs ensured the design was well within height guidelines," says Sanby. "These strategies also avoided interrupting the views for the home behind.

"Similarly, the higher rear pavilion looks over the top of the flat-roofed front pavilion."

In terms of aesthetics, the house has a strong linear emphasis – seen in the lines of the eaves, cladding and operable louvres.

"The lantern roofs were chosen for their function as well as their looks," says Sanby. "This roof style protects the clerestory windows that form an integral part of the all-important cross ventilation."

The walls of glazing on the front structure allow for direct views to the water from the courtyard and ground floor of the rear building.

Construction of the front pavilion is a masonry base with exposed structural steel on the upper level. Supporting beams on the upper level of the rear pavilion are concealed.

"To warm up the mainly steel, concrete and glass home, we introduced a wood veneer on the fireplace surround, the kitchen cabinetry and inlaid strips on the exposed beams."

The floors are in a sandy travertine tile, with the tracking for the full-size doors set flush into the floors. This allows a seamless indoor-outdoor flow. The grooves incorporate deep water channels so rainwater drains rapidly away.

"This home really is about comfort and ease of upkeep," says Sanby. "The courtyard's operable roof louvres and fully sheltered setting make it an ideal indoor-outdoor living space whatever the weather."

The front pavilion has the garage, laundry, rumpus and children's bedrooms downstairs, with the living, dining and kitchen upstairs. The rear pavilion looks to the courtyard, pool and sea, and includes the master suite and study, with a television room downstairs.

First published date: 30 December 2013

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Credit List

Architect Duncan Sanby RAIA, Utz-Sanby Architects (Sydney)
Interior designer Caravan Interiors
Builder Walsh Construction
Kitchen designer Utz-Sanby
Kitchen manufacturer DSK Kitchens & Furniture
Landscape gardener Katya Marden
Cladding James Hardie Scyon Stria, Vitrabond aluminium compact panels
Roofing Colorbond Ultra in Woodland Grey, folded into standing-seam Trimdek
Floor tiles Cappuccino Travertine from Nefiko Marble
Wall coverings Bowral dry-pressed clay bricks in Charolais Cream by Boral
Paints and varnishes Dulux, Resene
Lighting Tovo Lighting
Fireplace Pure Vision from Real Flame
Heating Hydronic in-floor by Amuheat
Doors and windows Anodised from Aluminium & Glass Constructions
Skylights Louvre roof by Louvretec
Window hardware Halliday & Baillie
Louvres Breezway, A + G Constructions
Blinds, drapes The Art of Windows
Outdoor furniture Easy table by Fast, chairs from Caravan Interiors, Roda sofas from Domo Furniture
Audio visual Hitay Engineering Home automation Legrande
Benchtops Stone Italiana in White
Splashback Hermeshe marble from Granite & Marble Works
Kitchen sink Franke
Oven, coffee machine Gaggenau
Cooktop, refrigeration, dishwasher Miele
Ventilation Quasair
Tub Teresa stone bath by Moda from ACS Designer Bathrooms
Pool Wahoo Pools