- Private Residence
- Killcare, NSW
- Peter Tonkin and Ellen Woolley. Photos by Patrick Bingham-Hall
- 2001 RAIA Merit Award
A beach house that deliberately feels like the beach â€“ open, unforced, a true shift from the city â€“ for shared use by two families.
The scheme develops as a tall timber-framed â€˜castleâ€™, piled up along a straight stair. Its robust forms are cantilevered and interlocking, sheltered under a single plane of roof whose slope matches the tree canopy. The plan inflects to retain huge sandstone boulders, which stabilise and define the steep site. The buildingâ€™s junction with the ground is carefully controlled to respect the fragile surface of the 45âˆž slope and remnant lush bushland. An earlier garage and studio on the street frontage were reconstructed to confirm with the architecture of the main house.
A restrained palette of surfaces and detail has been selected with long-life, simple materials; treated timber poles, durable hardwood, zinc, with unpainted fibre cement walls, roof, gutters and ceilings. All will relax, grey and uncoated, into the bush setting.
Every room sees the surf; every room is private yet connected; every room has a different height and aspect, with a different view of the bush. The kitchen is a bridge and a link â€“ the heart of the house.
The structure is celebrated, allowed to be separate from the simple walls and partitions. Windows occur only where they are needed. The conserved natural rock outcrops on the site join with the architecture to form exterior â€˜rooms.
The project was designed by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer with Ellen Woolley.