The realisation of this residential design centred on a palette of honest and robust external materials, combining exposed hardwood timber with unfinished blockwork and fibreglass sheeting.
‘Grey Iron Bark’ hardwood has been used extensively for the external expressed framing, such as the timber columns, studs, rafters, beams and balustrade uprights. These timber members are intended to grey over time to help minimise maintenance for the Client. The innovative feature entry screen incorporates timber cross members, designed to conceal the overlapping of the fibreglass sheets to present a seamless and clean feature wall. The framing silhouettes, combined with internal movements within the residence, create an interplay of light and shadow across these illuminated screens at night.
Dressed ‘Spotted Gum’ hardwood was used for the finer extensive timber batten screens and timber decking boards. These intricate screens provide much needed shade due to the predominant East / West orientation of the residence. They also aid in the definition of space, where the slender decks extend the effective sense of space from inside. The layout of the battens is intended to mirror the horizontal patterns found in the metal and fibreglass sheeting.
‘New Guinea Rosewood’ hardwood was chosen for the feature glazing surrounding the main deck space, providing a point of difference to the darker adjacent framing, while giving a sense of generous enclosure to an otherwise exposed space.
For the internal space, a ‘B’ grade hoop pine express jointed ply ceiling was used to showcase the character of the wood panels, and at the same time, expresses the 1200 structural grid. The project’s sustainable credentials include bamboo flooring and solid bamboo benchtops throughout. Engineered beams were also used in place of precious hardwood alternatives, while treated pine studs were chosen over steel framing systems for their lower embodied energy.
The main challenge of creating an affordable, sustainable and low maintenance beach house was successfully achieved through the expressive use of simple natural materials combined with a distinctive architectural form and space.