Contemporary Sydney beach house by pH+ Architects evolves the Australian 21st century home

Architects pH+ have completed a home for a private client on Sydney’s Northern Beaches that expands upon and celebrates the traditional Australian timber pitched-roof house. The extension to the rear dramatically enlarges an existing cottage with a bold, contemporary addition which responds to, and celebrates, its surroundings. Catalina Crescent explores the owner’s desire to blur the boundaries between inside and outside living as large sections of the building are opened up to the elements.

The extension to this family home is identified by a tall, dramatic upper floor with a mono-pitched sloping roofline. This roof is made up of a single plane that folds in on itself to form a canopy, walls and private spaces that frame views out to the garden and sky. This plane continues to create a 17m-long floating floor that extends the existing dwelling out towards lush greenery to the rear. Although clearly distinct, the new-build uses its timber composition to match the existing property and to blend into the natural bushland setting, creating a tailored modern home that is in dialogue with its surroundings.

Internally, the rooms have been reorganised into a series of linear spaces; from living, to dining, to kitchen, to external deck/barbecue area, to garden. Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels can be drawn back fully into the adjacent walls, eliminating any distinction between internal and external space. This ‘blurring’ is further enhanced by a soffit above that mirrors the new ground plane. A series of ceiling joists continue from inside to out, incorporating lighting at night and filtering sunlight during the day.

The enlarged home provides the desired range of spaces for a family of five, from open-plan, communal living areas, to more private areas, such as the master bedroom and terrace, offering solitude when desired. The new two-storey element houses new bedrooms and bathrooms, with the master suite at first floor, enjoying views west to an existing creek and dense foliage.

Drew Hamilton, Sydney Director, pH+ said:

“The entire design is context driven, and allowing the house to fully open up to its exterior, whilst ensuring sufficient shading is provided was a key aim. The home now takes full advantage of the bushland setting and temperate climate, embracing the idea of indoor/outdoor living.”

Beau Quarry, client and director, Clovelly House property company said:

“I am very conscious of working with neighbours, within a context. In the case of my home I wanted to do it with no material negative impact on the neighbours — no one complained, and in fact one even said he expects it to increase the value of his property.”

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