Situated high on a north-facing promontory overlooking Avalon Bay, this site offered a rare opportunity for the architect. With the home sited less than 100m from the beach, the sights and sounds of surf breaks, the smell of salt, and the movement of the patchwork quilt of dune flora all called for a contemporary design that would work with the environment. While the ever-changing scenery is sublime, the power of the horizon line became a key design ingredient.
The house was to be simple and uncluttered, with well-defined indoor and outdoor spaces. It needed to relate to the environment but not dominate, while being environmentally sustainable and low maintenance.
The exterior is characterised by a series of interlocking horizontal planes that extend from inside to out. Three freestanding bluestone walls give support to these horizontal planes. A solitary fireplace wall in the centre of the house, together with exposed stainless steel flues, penetrates the roof planes with contrasting verticality.
A neighbouring house, set at an obtuse angle, created an issue with symmetry. This was solved with the introduction of a 90-degree wall to a north-south axis.
This wall framed a viewing corridor from the entry porch to Avalon Bay. It did more than conceal the outbuilding and restore symmetry; it provided a human scale and proportion to the approach.
Entering the house along the east-west axis through a large pivoted door into a two-storey space, the relationship between line and volume is apparent.
Floor, wall and ceiling lines all converge towards the skyline. Ceiling bulkheads extend through frameless glass walls to become slimline fascias. Cantilevered cabinetwork, and wall and floor stone tiling direct the eye to the horizon.
This home has won the Architecture Award for Residential Architecture, and a Commendation for Interior Design at the WA 2014 Australian Institute of Architects Awards.