Project name:

Curl Curl Pde, Curl Curl


Smith & Tzannes Architects


Project details:

The brief for this project was to design a modern family home for an active young couple. The design was to make the most of the north facing site and the views of the beach. Creating a range of functional, enjoyable spaces that are filled with natural light and air, well connected to the outside spaces and landscaped gardens. This was to include a generous covered outdoor space adjoining a swimming pool.

The spaces inside and outside should be designed for privacy from the adjoining neighbours to the east and west.

There was a development approval in place for a new house on the property designed by Smith & Tzannes architects. They had been engaged to prepare a design for the previous owner of the site. Watershed Architects were engaged to review the existing approval and redesign the house to suit the new owner’s requirements.

The property is located in the beach side suburb of Curl Curl, sited on the side of a ridge falling away from the street to the north rear boundary. The site is relatively long and narrow as well as steeply sloping to the north. There are ocean and beach views in an easterly direction. There was a dilapidated timber fisherman’s cottage on the site that was demolished.

A combination of simple plan modifications and construction details were made but the essence of the original design was retained. The top story is at street level and contains an open plan kitchen, dining and living space, opening to a generous terrace with views of the beach and overlooking a green roof. The mid-level comprises four bedrooms including the main bedroom with ensuite, walk-in robe and balcony. On the lower level is a home gym with steam room, sauna and ice bath, also a rumpus room with kitchenette and study. Stairs lead further down the site to a swimming pool and outdoor living space topped by a concrete roof garden.

The floor plan is pulled apart to create a landscaped courtyard with a staircase and glazed bridge link allowing northern light to permeate the building. A material palette of off-form concrete, face brickwork and timber gives a raw, natural aesthetic while also being practical, enduring finishes in a coastal environment. As the building steps down the hill, roof gardens have been used to give a pleasant outlook from the upper floors, also providing excellent thermal mass for temperature regulation.

The home has been designed for a young family although the flexible spaces and planning would suit a variety of occupants. Functional zones separated on different levels offer privacy and autonomy between different activities while offering spaces to come together, whether in the upper floor living area and terrace, the lower floor rumpus room or outdoor entertaining space.

The final design of the house was based on a collaboration by the project design team including Watershed Architects, interiors by Samantha Hindmarsh Interiors and Landscape design by Landart.

Project Design Team;

  • Watershed Architects; Mark Korgul & Matthew Cernec
  • Samantha Hindmarsh Interiors; Sam Hindmarsh
  • LandArt – Landscape design consultants; Matt Lacey & Tom Wright

The most complex aspect of the build was the geographical nature of the site. Heavy masonry detailing was required at the bottom of this very steep sloping site, and we had to start at the bottom and dig and pour our way to the top. 4 of 12 The start of the building was during the very wet elnino years which made excavation and pouring off form concrete very difficult.

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