Story by David Renwick
Photography by Robert Walsh
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The TIDA AU 2017 Architect-designed new home winner
The brief was for the home to reflect the Bondi lifestyle and to evoke the beach side environment. They wanted the home to be modern, relaxed, casual, open and fresh, and favoured a timeless design, with a contemporary look and feel, clean lines and open plan living. Materials were required to complement the coastal location, provide long term performance in the harsh coastal environment and to be low maintenance. These include standing seam aluminium roofing, high performance powder-coating to the aluminium windows and louvres, high build paint systems and durable stone.
The form of the house is stepped in response to the angled street alignment, and incorporates large corner windows to maximise the opportunity of views to the ocean. Sliding screens animate the façade and allow control of views, late afternoon summer sun and privacy to the street. Whilst the main body of the house is rendered, random ashlar sandstone, which echoes the nearby sandstone cliffs and outcrops, is used to form a base for the house and to define the raised garden. The planting includes coastal salt tolerant species.
The focal point of the design is a double height central entry hall and stair, with a large skylight which brings natural light and sun to the heart of the house. Suspended within the space is a custom designed light of multiple pendant lights. This space is enlivened by the view to the sky and clouds, and changing shadows during the day and throughout the year. A cantilevered stone stair with frameless glass balustrading is juxtaposed with horizontal American Oak timber panelling and a vertical timber screen on the upper level.
The ground floor comprises a large open plan kitchen, living, dining area. The kitchen has a large central island with an integrated casual meals area and includes granite benchtops, dark glass and polyurethane cupboards, mirror splashbacks and feature elements in American Oak. The kitchen joinery extends to the outdoors to form an outdoor kitchen bbq area. A full width glass wall with multiple sliding panels opens out on the covered alfresco entertaining area with glass mosaic tiled pool and spa adjacent.
Perimeter planting defines the lawn area as an outdoor room which includes a sculptural frangipani tree and timber bench as a focal point, with a custom designed timber fence providing a visually interesting backdrop. This entire composition of indoor and outdoor living and lawn area was designed as a level integrated level and entertaining area, and creates an internal view from within the house. Also located on this level are a flexible rumpus area, work/guestroom, guest bathroom and concealed walk-in pantry and laundry. The floor is tiled internally and externally with travertine. American Oak cladding is used to highlight the fireplace and kitchen area and sheer curtains to create a more intimate feeling in the evening.
The first floor is zoned with a suite of rooms for the parents to one side of the central void and two children’s bedrooms each with ensuite to the other. The Master suite includes a bedroom which opens onto a balcony overlooking the garden and affords distant views to the ocean, a sky lit dressing room with bespoke his and hers joinery, ensuite with spa and an adjacent study linked by a screen of vertical timber blades. The joinery is finished with chalked oak veneer and Silver Travertine stone.
The lower ground floor houses a home theatre with bar and climate controlled cellar which feature backlit onyx to add visual interest. It also includes a large flexible carparking area which also serves as an area for gym and indoor activities, as well as providing additional visitor parking.
Key environmentally sustainable measures incorporated in the design and construction include, passive solar design, excellent cross ventilation and insulation, large rainwater tanks, photo voltaic cells, and gas boosted solar hot water.
This design maximises the opportunities afforded by the site with a sense of connection to the coastal location, and evokes the beach lifestyle. It provides a haven for family life which seamlessly transitions from private family time and activities, to casual pool-side entertaining to a sophisticated venue for larger parties, whilst creating a timeless contemporary family home.
First published date: 06 November 2017