New Residence

Small lot, difficult sloping site

With a brief as a residence for a retiring couple by the ocean, suitable for family and friends to visit indefinitely, the design was to be developed positioned on a difficult, small, steep block that is high at the back, with bay views towards the street. Due to the steepness of the fall of the land it was possible to design a three storey structure that capitalised on views over the bay.

This is a small lot house that utilises cost-conscious construction while matching the client’s desire for separate level living areas in an energy efficient solution with passive ventilation. It is distinctly set back from the boundaries, being mindful of future adjacent development, to ensure solar access to the house & gardens. Specific issues addressed included controlling the sightlines within the house for views – near and distant, as well as inside/outside, and inhibiting the dramatic foreshore weather patterns.

Key elements for the property include the year round climatic comfort, within the constraints of a small, steep and narrow site. The house is on three levels, with parking at ground, and the main living areas and bedroom at the top. Entry via a protected side stair is at mid-level, with two bedrooms, bathroom, sitting room and pergola covered deck. The top level has direct access to the important gardens at the rear and side, and also then to the shaded and elongated planted undercroft with its stepped overhang.

Designed to take advantage of its orientation and capture the sea breezes, the long northern side of the main level is characterised by deep overhanging eaves, and sliding screens to exclude direct sun entry in summer and welcome the sun's warmth into the house in the cooler months. This wall angles back from a narrow side boundary to ensure continued solar access to the site, in consideration of likely future development on the adjacent site

An indoor/outdoor room on the eastern side provides a transition from the kitchen and living room to an open deck at high end and ocean side. This room can be moderated as well as protected from strong south easterlies by adjusting a large bank of louvres or closing bi-folding shutters across the space.

High level windows on the southern side avoid overlooking of the closely sited neighbouring house. These provide indirect light and are openable for heat release on hot days. The openings are formed between inverted trusses which also provides a high and raking ceiling. Further daylight to the interior is modulated by adjusting the timber screens or metal louvres, throughout.

Masonry construction on lowest level assists with evening out day/night temperatures. The floors above are lightweight construction. Walls are insulated and clad in painted fibre cement sheeting or coloured steel sheeting. A variety of external spaces is available for use depending on the weather. External ground surfaces are generally permeable. The residence is suited to its location and highly utilised by the owners, with the seasonal demands.

A conscious effort was made to achieve a particular style of oceanfront home. The bold result is that of a cost conscious, colourful, lightweight, oceanfront home.

MULDER + KENNEDY ARCHITECTS0419 726 717[email protected]131 Midmay St Fairfield Q 4103

Verdesign