The clients wanted a quality home that would work for their family for many years. Key aspects of the brief were to achieve: An open-plan living space with a usable balcony overlooking the water and three bedrooms on one level to suit a young family with a separate guest room on the lower level. The clients also wanted a driveway that is easier to use and a peaceful home offering privacy with a connection to the unique natural setting. They wanted to modernise the living spaces, improve the flow within the home, whilst also improving the connection between indoor and outdoor living spaces. However, it was important that the renovated home didn’t dominate but rather blended into the surrounding rainforest.
The original building was a pragmatic, rectangular formed home built for an engineer in 1965. It has been reconfigured to sit comfortably in its bushland setting. A new timber pavilion floats above the original masonry structure creating a counterpoint to the grounded form beneath. The new design has given greater privacy, an indoor-outdoor connection and an arrival sequence that is both functional and celebratory. This included a new bedroom wing, which is timber clad and sits amongst the trees overlooking the green roof and Port Hacking River. The new green roof helps to regulate temperature and provides a peaceful, landscaped outlook across to the water. A beautiful floating stairwell bridges the new and old sections of the home. The living spaces are both connected to the outdoors through large stackable sliding doors. The upgraded driveway allows for better access and parking, and the landscaping allows the clients to move around the property and down to the beautifully landscaped pool area and out onto the reserve.
It's All In The Detail
- The creation of large, light-filled and well-connected spaces that celebrate the unique waterside location with the retention of much of the original, soundly built brick and concrete structure.
- Improved access to the site by remodelling of the driveway and the creation of an arrival and entry space.
- A new pavilion that floats above the solidly anchored original building.
- Improved cross-ventilation and natural lighting, aided by louvre windows and large glazed doors.
- Temperature regulation through improved thermal mass, achieved by concrete floor slabs, masonry walls and
the creation of a roof garden over the existing building.
- Improved landscaping used extensively to fit the building into the surrounding landform and enhance privacy.
- The use of blackbutt timber is a feature throughout, for the external cladding, decking and internal flooring.
- A floating timber stairwell, anchored by beautiful custom steel stringers
- This attaches to the Spanish Morada Blanco Linear brick wall that spans all three levels
- Custom timber joinery ties this all together from the living spaces into the bathrooms and walk in wardrobe.
- Handmade Moroccan feature tiles in the bathroom, with terrazzo tile flooring
- The concrete green roof over the main living room spans over 10m without any structural post
- A motorised Louvretec roof over the balcony lets in sunlight but also keeps out the rain
- The concrete pool, with remco pool cover keeps maintenance simple and the pool is lined with Ezzaria Bali Zen tiles
- Bremworth Wool carpet in the bedrooms
- Enviro Heatmaster gas fireplace in the main living room, sits on a concrete plinth and provides warmth
throughout the home.
What the Architect said
This project has been a great experience due to the enthusiasm and cooperation of everyone involved. We hadn’t worked with MATTBUILD before, but they were keen, always receptive to changes and managed the delays caused by the pandemic and various weather events. For example, we wanted to expose part of the concrete slab in the living room ceiling when they were almost ready to pour. We wanted to maximise the available height and break up the horizontal ceiling plane. The builders were focused on solutions, adjusting the formwork to take cables and lighting to suit. We worked closely with MATTBUILD to achieve a good outcome with regard to the budget.
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