Designed by SAOTA & TKD
Set in a north-facing cove in Sydney’s vast natural harbour, the site borders a recreational park and a public pier which juts out into the bay. This element forms one axis for the site whilst a pristine beach, directly in front of the site, forms another.
From the principal park elevation that the new building appears as a collection of planes; a play on space, privacy and threshold. Graphite grey sail screens (made from “Kaynemaile,” a polycarbonate chainmail developed in New Zealand for the Lord of the Rings movies) are rigged just off the house providing privacy from the road. Timber cladding, plastered mass walls, a wood-clad soffit and the exaggerated cill of a bay window punched through the sail screens, are layered into further planes. This game creates depth in an otherwise linear façade and provides privacy whilst maximising light and views to the park.
Set into this façade the stairwell is fully glazed; but wrapped protectively in a cloak of timber louvres. This gently curved outline contrasts with the surrounding crystalline box and mediates between the formal entrance and bedrooms above.
Entry is at 90 degrees to the Bay, off the park. A ramp, edged by water, slopes gently up to the front door; the little rise adding to the sense of arrival. Here the “U” shaped plan of the house becomes clear; the entrance is a link between two wings, separated by an internal garden which, like an internal harbour, allows views through the spaces to the bay beyond. Seen from the courtyard a massive blank wall of the upper storey seems to weigh on the glazed levity of the ground floor, amplifying the bay view beneath it.