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Set on a sloping south-facing site, this house hovers above one of Sydney’s classically laid back northern beach suburbs. The beguiling nature of the setting masks what on closer scrutiny reveals a complexity of conditions that directly informed our response in creating a relaxed and well-accommodated family home.
The ocean and the beach are to the south-east and the sweeping views out over the district to the south of the site culminate in views of the skyline of Sydney’s CDB to the south-west. In addition to this, there is a nature reserve to the north.
Capturing all of these aspects became the focus and the challenge.
The lower level is cut firmly into the hill and kept intentionally solid (rendered masonry with clean-cut vertical slot openings). This level houses all the bedrooms, a large Laundry, garaging and a family room spilling out onto the back garden and swimming pool.
The upper level by contrast is lightweight and serpentine, twisting and turning to maximize its aspect and capture all the available aspects, drawing them into the house.
This twist in the upper level form sitting over the solid base (we likened it to a lizard on a rock) creates two distinct terraces on the flat roof of the lower level. These feed directly off the main living/dining room. This duality enables the residents to track (or avoid) the (sometimes harsh) Australian sun and with large openings on opposite sides establishes excellent natural cross ventilation and shaded central living space. This level houses all the aspects of a large contemporary family house:
A media-room, a computer-room cum study plus the requisite open-plan kitchen / living / dining.
The kitchen is separated by being two steps higher – giving the kitchen a commanding and elevated aspect to the south and directly overlooks the pool and garden for good surveillance of the young ones.
Location: North Curl Curl, Australia
Type: Residential – Houses
Architect: Mac-Interactive Architects
Project Team: Andy Macdonald, Emmanuel Rattazzi, Robert Kalocay
Builder: John Moussa
Engineer: Cam Consulting