Architect’s Statement: The clients purchased a wonderful property on Australia’s Sunshine Coast. The land was situated high up on a ridge with undulating rainforest, creeks and waterfalls. The property faced east with panoramic views out to the Pacific Ocean. We were enamored with the beauty of the property and wanted to design a house that not only complimented the natural landscape but would be come part of it and provide the owners with an intimate connection with their surrounding environment.
One of the challenges was to configure a design that enabled the house to have views towards the ocean to the east, as well as maximising the north facing glass to capture winter sun and north views to the creak and rainforest. The other consideration was the elevated site with views to the coast means that you are exposed to the prevailing winds coming off the ocean. Our solution was a unique plan configuration that folded around a protected deck with views into the rainforest in the foreground and panoramic ocean views in the distance.
The public areas of the house, such as the kitchen, dining, living and entertaining open up towards the deck and pool with ocean views beyond. The bedrooms and bathrooms are more private with intimate views back into the rainforest and creek to the north.
The other challenge was this area of the hinterland had high land slip hazard potential. The area of stable land was limited for us to site the house. At the front of the house the land falls away steeply. Rather than having a series of long poles to support the building, our approach was to cantilever out the front of the house with a steel structure that anchored back into stable rock. This had the wonderful effect of the house appearing to float above the landscape. From there the building was designed to follow the line of the natural topography. The walls and roof of the building fold with the ground so the building reads as an extension of the landscape.
We designed the walls and roof to be predominantly a dark colour. This allows the building to blend into the forest. The owners are avid gardeners, and their regeneration of the site will add to the integration of landscape and building over time.
The house is designed as a stand alone environmental eco-system. All the buildings energy is collected onsite using solar systems and water tanks. All the waste water is recycled on site by an environmental system and used for bush regeneration irrigation.