TKD were approached by a family of three trying to fit within the nuances of their Federation Arts and Crafts style home which had been divided into two apartments.. The site is nestled back into the edge of the terraced hillside with sweeping views over the sand, rocks and water.
A completely private, tranquil courtyard at the rear of the main living level has been created and the broad hallway acts as a central street through the building linking both ends of the house and enabling adjacent spaces and vertical circulation to fluidly connect together.
Rooms which might have otherwise been given a lower priority are skilfully modulated to enable the occupants to stay connected to the external environment at all times. Windows in the master ensuite, study and pantry have been recessed and angled into the floor plate to bring ocean views, light and breezes deeper into the plan rather than simply looking out of the side walls over an adjacent property. The brief for this area of the house was for a ‘resort-like feel’.
Given the elevation of the house above the primary view, it was important the main balcony did not impede this view down to the beach and water with distracting outdoor furniture or balustrading. In response to this, the balcony was designed two steps lower than the internal floor level so that these elements are all below the eye line of people sitting at the dining table inside. During construction a large, intact sandstone boulder was discovered on the basement level which resulted in an exuberant re-design of the plan in order to preserve this unique element of the site.
Unlike many coastal houses there is a luxurious, urban feel to the materials and finishes throughout the exterior and interior of the house. Externally, dark grey, matte paint combined with walnut-stained cedar weatherboards set up a rich refinement in the palette which is carried through the interior with subtly toned timber veneers, Bedonia slab stone, dark stained timber floor boards, and the deep Fontainebleau stone encompassing the master ensuite. The consistency of tones through the house has been echoed in soft furnishings and even the client’s considered curation of art within each space which allows the Bronte House to have a calm, casual feel which isn’t precious.
Photography: Tom Ferguson