This new house overlooking Palm Beach, Sydney, is on a site cut back into the cliff nestling into the hill. The clients wanted a very contemporary beach house, to contrast with other more traditional homes they had lived in before.
The detailing and finishes palette of the house needed to relate to the immediate and very strong landscaping elements – the palms, the sand, the beach. The approach was to layer the strong contemporary forms of the building with textures to anchor the house into the landscape.
Stone was used on the lower levels to ground the building. A painted render finish in Resene Double Pravda was used for the mid-level and an anthracite zinc cladding to the top level to reduce the overall perception of height.
With the prominent location and overall building mass, there was a risk that the house would overpower the sense of the relaxed beach location. Through the mix of materials and breaking down of the form from level to level, the building was certainly strong, but still sits comfortably within the context.
Internally, the space needed to act as a home gallery space for an extensive and eclectic art collection. The colour palette was kept quite neutral, using Resene Napa, Resene Half Napa, Resene Half Pravda, Resene Smokey Ash, Resene Ironsand and Resene Quarter Villa White to work as a backdrop to the artworks. Materials such as timber slats and scraped stone were used to tie back in to the external finishes and bring textural interest to the spaces, all still in neutral tones so as to recede alongside the artworks.
The site had been an excavated and vacant building site for many years, as previous developments did not get off the ground. There was a pressure that came with this build in terms of local expectation. The community had lived with such a prominent concrete hole for so long that everyone was watching very closely. As the largely concrete structure took shape the initial feedback was mixed. But as the various materials and landscaping were applied, opinion steadily became very positive, as it became clear that this would be a house that worked closely with its context.
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