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Seal Rocks House 5 by bourne blue architecture

By • Oct 6, 2013

Newcastle-based bourne blue architecture designed Seal Rocks House 5, a private residence located in Sydney, Australia.

The spacious home has spectacular views over the ocean, and a beach that is just a few steps away.

Seal Rocks House 5 by bourne blue architecture:

“The original buildings in this coastal village are small in footprint, with all buildings sharing a simplicity of form and detailing, necessitated by the unskilled nature of their creators. They are generally mono pitched roofs, fibro or weatherboard, with outdoor showers and bathrooms and simple in detail. On the coast generally, when properties change hands, original buildings are often replaced by large suburban houses. Here this approach has been resisted.

This house respects the immediate context. The design is compact and separated into three pavilions. This allows more landscape to exist between structures, reducing the scale of the built form. It also provides sufficient space for wet composting waste treatment systems, so that all sewage treatment remains onsite. The structure steps with the land and all roof forms fall with the land so that when viewed from the beach, the bulk is minimized. Much of the living space on the site is actually outside the buildings, in between pavilions or on decks. This works well with the indoor / outdoor nature of visiting here, in the manner of luxury camping. Materials throughout relate to the context of the village, are economical and corrosion resistant. The building is clad in fibre cement, with cover battens.. The main bathroom is outdoor, with fibro partitions, to get right back to basics. Steel is avoided and items such as the plastic external light fittings, were chosen both for economy and long life.

Holidays here are about surfing and the bush. The attributes of a family home have been distilled down to the basics, moulded to suit the site and optimised for holidays. Careful consideration has been given to the entry to the building, how sand is removed, where surfboards can be stored (out of the sun), where towels dry (in the sun), where wetsuits hang (out of the sun). The adults have the top part of the house, the kids have the lower part (bunk room), they meet at the living space in the middle level. Everyone has their own domain.

The client’s brief was for a simple, compact holiday house that was not ostentatious and fitted in with the place. The house can be used by a couple (just the top 2 pavilions), by the family or with another family as guests. There is easy transition from the beach to the house and surfaces are hardy so that durability is not a concern. The living spaces open easily to the decks and the roofed deck East of the living space is used extensively, nearly doubling the available living area.”

Photos by: Simon Whitbread

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