DesignWall

Sunrise Beach house

March 24, 2009

A number of themes were explored with this project: * the development of the interior plan as an extension of the broader (borrowed) landscape * a positive engagement with the ground plane rather than a disconnected elevated living experience * the modulation of light and views to create constantly shifting visual experiences, and * the […]

A number of themes were explored with this project:
* the development of the interior plan as an extension of the broader (borrowed) landscape
* a positive engagement with the ground plane rather than a disconnected elevated living experience
* the modulation of light and views to create constantly shifting visual experiences, and
* the creation of variable strategies for living inside and out under variable exposed conditions.

Beach context
This beach house avoids the preoccupation with hugging the coastal boundary to maximise sea views; instead a sequence of ocean vignettes are screened and framed against the house and landscape. The brief required internal and external spaces to be able to cope with the prevailing breezes under a variety of conditions. Subsequently, the envelope becomes almost infinitely switchable to enable alternate occupation of the inside and outside areas.

Much has been said about the ‘death of the classic beach house’. Reflecting on the design of the Sunrise Beach house, it maintains the fundamental idea of living at the beach – the connectedness. With its extensive openings and shifting views, the beach house is not preoccupied with just the ocean. It is also about a connection to the sand and beach vegetation. It is about the weather. It is about these textures and materials that, although sophisticatedly considered and designed, are fundamentally rooted in the senses.

Materiality
The immediate surrounding materials of caked sand, native pandanus and water were the reference for a palette of raw concrete, glass and zinc offset with the warmth of timber and woven cane screens to create an environment of contrast where the ‘elegant’ versus ‘raw’ versus ‘refined’ versus ‘natural’ would allow the client to feel dressed for dinner in wet togs.

Key experiences
From the approach to the entry the ocean is concealed and the house turns its back on the west and the busy David Low Way. On passing through into the courtyard, the ocean and its horizon are revealed. Apart from this spectacle the routes through the house constantly frame and reframe other places to explore. Boundaries are blurred between the house and beach where intimate spaces and expansive views align.

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