Located on a corner block, the existing house is sunken below the street level and surrounded by established trees, providing a great sense of privacy as well as a garden outlook from every room. The brief for the project allowed half the existing house to be retained but required new contemporary living areas, a new main bedroom with ensuite, and importantly, a place to check the surf. Starting with an approved DA (designed by Kieran McInerney Architect) with a DA condition to delete the proposed lookout tower, the challenge was to find a solution to include a lookout that would be acceptable by council.
With a clear and logical sequence of rooms, there was little change to the approved floor plans but the exterior of the house was reimagined. A pitched roof form that mimics the existing roof allows a viewing platform to be concealed within the roof space of the new bedroom balcony. The exterior of the new addition is inspired by the client’s grandmother’s original Queenslander but adapted to suit the harsher conditions of its coastal setting. Charred Jarrah weatherboards give the addition its characteristically black appearance, juxtaposed against the white rendered brickwork of the existing house. The charred hardwood cladding was selected for its qualities of low maintenance and durability which were essential to meet the clients’ brief for an enduring timber house close to the beach.
Inside and out, the new addition showcases timberwork. The timber verandah frames the front of the house and the new timber doors and windows, posts and beams have been clear sealed in contrast to the black cladding. Internally, Victorian Ash joists have been skilfully pressure-blocked and exposed; Spotted Gum floorboards have been used throughout the ground floor and grooved timber boards line the soaring gabled ceilings on the first floor. The selected internal finishes are simple and durable, the bathrooms are colourful and playful, and along with the passive design considerations, the house is a thermally comfortable and liveable family home with a relaxed and casual atmosphere.