The building is sited on the dunal slopes of Sunshine Beach, facing north east with extensive views of the Pacific Ocean and Lions Head. In order to accommodate the clients brief of a substantial family home whilst minimising the buildings bulk both from the street and the beach, a large portion of the house has been built below ground.
The house essentially consists of three levels, each housing differing living environments. Each level contains a primary ‘living room’ to the eastern end of the building and an ensuite bedroom to the west. The bedrooms and circulation spaces of the two lower levels are below ground. The thermal benefits of sub ground rooms had to be tempered with the need for these spaces to gain natural light and ventilation. This was achieved through the incorporation of a three storey light and ventilation shaft which also serves as vertical circulation through the building. Various devices such as glass floors and pivoting vents allow natural light and ventilation to penetrate deep into the plan and section of the building. This allows for a ‘stack effect’ to occur with hot air being vented at the top of the light / air well.
A 45 000 litre rainwater tank is situated under the lower ground floor. The floor is punctured with glass portholes in a ‘Southern Cross’ formation. The portholes provide access to the tank and double as a light feature for the room.
Considerable effort was invested in the engineering design in order to minimise load on the dunal front. This included a unique earth retention system and a cantilevered deck off the mid floor living space.
The residence incorporates many materials and features that were utilised in Australian domestic construction for the first. “American Clay’ a natural render system consisting of recycled marble dust, recycled glass and natural clay, was used for the majority of internal walls. The roof top pool consists of two cantilevered acrylic walls with an acrylic seat serving as a skylight to the dinning room. A high degree of detail and craftsmanship prevails throughout – a testament to the skill and dedication of the builder and tradesmen.
The home has been inserted into the natural topography of the site and features natural external materials that will weather over time. This will help a rather substantial building to rest more discreetly within its dunal landscape.