SLOPING BLOCK DESIGN, CENTRAL COAST
With a continued dialect of stone and timber inside and out, the Point Frederick House is terraced down the contour of the site creating several levels and generating zones for different functions. The design is indented in its floor plan which provided the ability to catch the water view from almost every habitable room.
The Clients, a couple nearing retirement with grown up children purchased a battle-axe block overlooking Brisbane Water on the NSW Central Coast.
Slater Architects were tasked with creating a timeless contemporary home incorporating open planned living spaces with natural light and water views. The clients desired a home incorporating timber and stone, indoor/outdoor living spaces, a private master bedroom with views, guest accommodation, a TV room and study.
The site has a westerly aspect and a 12m slope from the east to the water on the western boundary.
It was decided early in the design process to terrace the house down the contour of the site creating several levels, each one close to ground level. This strategy generated zones for different functions.
Starting at the entry, at the top of the site, the custom-made spotted gum and metal front door opens to capture the view all the way through the house. The first zone houses two guest bedrooms, en-suites, and double garage.
A double height atrium entrance permitted natural northern light to flood into the space with operable windows allowing cross ventilation. 13,000 litre rainwater storage is located under this level and a gas boosted solar hot water system on the roof.
On the next level is the study and TV room. The design is indented in its floor plan which provided the ability to catch the water view from every habitable room, except the TV room.
Moving down to the lowest level, the open plan living was designed with wide spanning sliding doors and high lite windows above. The structural challenges included high ceilings, floor to ceiling glazing and the 14m open span below the upper storey for glass doors which opened to the waterfront view.
This was an important feature to the architect and client and while it would have been simple to place a column in the middle, we installed a structural steel truss, portal frame and cantilevering UC structure at the balcony with minimal deflection tolerances to deliver their vision.
Australian timbers including Blackbutt and Tasmanian Blackwood where chosen for the floor and joinery to compliment the limestone walls and bring an organic atmosphere into the home.
Covered outdoor areas deliver wide overhanging eaves to protect from the western aspect.
Remotely operated shade devises were incorporated into columns which add protection from the afternoon sun. To combat glaring sunlight and strong winds from the south, the northern facade of the house was inset and incorporates a protected outdoor kitchen directly accessed from the living area.
On the upper level, above the kitchen, is the main bedroom with its own en-suite, dressing room and balcony. Windows were placed for cross ventilation and to capture the view from the north, south and west.
Externally the home displays a modern vernacular with large expanses of glass, a flat roof with wide eaves and a neutral palette of render and wide format weatherboards. The stone and timber incorporated internally is reflected outside to continue the dialect between inside and out.
Words from the Client
“We engaged Slater Architects after they came highly recommended by Tim at LJ Hooker Terrigal.
Our brief was to design a house that was light filled, that we were able to see the water views from the front door and that made the most of a large sloping block of land. Our brief also included the use of natural stone and Australian timber which Cathy executed beautifully in her design.”
“It was important to us to have a living area that was connected to the outdoors, while maximising the expansive water views. The 14-metre-wide sliding doors seamlessly connects our living room with the outdoor entertaining space which was more than we could have hoped for.
Cathy designed the house with skylights with remote controlled windows to flush out the hot air and fill the house with natural light. The house has proved to be a delight to live in, cool in summer, warm in winter and somehow exudes a relaxed ambience for us and all who visit.
The courtyard on the northern side of the home is protected from all the prevailing winds so can be utilised all year round. The large eves offer great coverage during the heat of summer but allow the winter sun to enter the living areas.”
“We could not be happier with what Cathy and her team have come up with, in every way the house is a delight to live in.” – C & S Campbell
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