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Hill Residence

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Hill Residence

New Luxury “Beach Shack” Home, Burleigh Heads

A new contemporary residence retaining the beachside character and holiday atmosphere for a growing young family has been created on a north sloping site at Burleigh Heads.

Arkitektika’s concept was for a stimulating, colourful, comfortable and contemporary “beach shack” that would be suitable for a beach and outdoor oriented lifestyle as well as suit the family and guests and the changing requirements of a growing family with children. It also had to be hard-wearing, stylish and reflect the preferences and tastes of the owners.

Architecturally the concept was to utilize modern materials to reflect the history of the site and area and to utilize materials and forms to express the different areas and functions of the building.

The colourful and casual character was followed through completely into the house, from the external materials, colour and detailing to the internal colour scheme and interior design and decoration.

Conceived as three distinct areas in plan, the residence consists of more public areas including entry, car accommodation, and studio areas at the front, a central circulation area to one side and family and private spaces to the rear.

Entry to the residence is through a secure landscaped courtyard into the middle level of the house which is situated at street level. The residence steps down the site in response to the sloping site and opens out to the ocean views from living areas at all levels.

Internal layouts have been manipulated in order to control privacy and permit the residence to unfold and be experienced as a progression through a series of spaces.

The middle level contains the pedestrian entry as well as open plan living, dining, kitchen and playroom. The large open plan living areas have been broken down through devices such as curves and screen walls to differentiate between uses.

The lower level comprises children’s bedrooms, rumpus room, bathroom, laundry and large storage areas built into the hillside. The top floor contains the master bedroom, ensuite and gym with studio spaces to the front with spectacular ocean views.

The articulation of the building form and use of a variety of materials breaks down the overall mass and visual bulk of the residence.

The new residence works with the existing residences either side and the surrounding context. The existing windows, footprints, and forms of the neighbouring residences are respected by the careful and controlled articulation of forms and massing to maintain solar access and placement of openings ensuring privacy between the residences.

The new residence was achieved through a two stage renovation process resulting in a completely new residence that was able to retain and incorporate some of the elements of the original.

The first stage included the raising, leveling, and relocation of the original small house, a small  extension of this level, and the building in below of bedrooms and facilities. The second stage included the demolition of the original residence at the upper level and the construction of two new upper levels and extension of the upper levels between the residence and the street.

A benefit of the lightweight construction using plywood, fibrecement sheeting, and custom orb metal cladding is that it maximizes the useable living area on the narrow sloping lot.

Areas are designed to be of multiple uses and the whole house has been designed to provide passive solar comfort all year round without need for artificial heating or cooling.

The small narrow site and narrower street provided challenges during construction for deliveries and storage of materials requiring a flexible approach from the builders. Further challenges of the two stages of construction combined with the owners remaining in occupation during the second stage of the works were overcome through careful design and programming as well as close liaison with the builder.

Three stories stepping down the site and built into the site posed the problem of achieving natural light and ventilation to all areas. This was overcome by thoughtful and careful design. The stairwell and void introduce light and air to the centre of the two upper levels. The central stairwell acts both as a “lightwell” ensuring light penetration to potentially the darkest part of the house and as a “chimney” that draws air through and naturally ventilates and cools the house. Careful manipulation of the stairs and levels also provide light and air to the rear of the lower level.

Large areas of louvres provide expanses of openable windows, especially to the lower floor childrens bedrooms and the upper level master bedroom.