LocationPalm Beach, Australia
Design ArchitectRob Brown
Project ArchitectCarly Martin
BuilderJohn Newton Building
EngineerKen Murtagh, Murtagh Bond
Landscape ArchitectHugh Burnett
Text description provided by the architects. Clad in dramatic burnt timber, and the ochre tones of weathered steel sheets, this holiday house is sure to satisfy the family’s brief for a beautiful house taking full advantage of the natural features of the site.
The main living areas of the house soar out towards the panoramic water views, giving the house a dynamic and striking appearance. Large expanses of glass to the north capture the spectacular views to the Pacific Ocean, Palm Beach and the Barrenjoey Light House.
An existing weather board cottage on the site created an exciting siting opportunity. Rather than locating the new house at the lower point of the site, it breaks the pattern of the street, sitting high and away from any neighbours, giving a strong sense of privacy and retreat.
The house is split into two pavilions, linked bya deck which expands and fans out to the view. The first pavilion contains the living spaces, kitchen, family bathroom and bedrooms, with a casual living area at the lower level adjacent to the small plunge pool. A hidden door into the second pavilion reveals the master bedroom suite, which sits among the treetops, overlooking the swimming pool and northerly view. The main living area is light and spacious, contrasting with the modest scale of the bedrooms.
Key to the design is the idea of the family being together in these living spaces, entertaining and relaxing with family and friends. From the main living area, a large expanse of stacking glass paneled doors slide away to seamlessly connect the indoors with the outdoor deck.
The entry to the house is via a steep path and sandstone steps, which take you upon arrival underneath the dramatic cantilever of the living space. This luminescent space glows with the rich reds, oranges and browns of the weathered steel. A single Y-shaped column, delicately formed and tapered supports the house above.
The upper levels are clad in charred black vertical boarding, burnt using the traditional Japanese Yaki-Sugi method. Treating the boards in this way seasons and helps protect the otherwise vulnerable wood. The timber acquires a unique charred texture, not dissimilar to the patternation of crocodile skin. The palette of colours used for the house, from the oranges to the reds, browns and blacks, resonates with the Australian landscape.
A place for retreat, relaxing, entertaining and gathering – this special house captures the view, sun and breezes to create a memorable holiday home highly suited to the unique opportunities of the site.