Coogee Sand Castle House
The Coogee Sand Castle house was created from the bones of a simple 1940’s brick bungalow, substantially remodeling the building to create a new home for a family of four.
The site is located near the top of the hill with water views up and down the coast and to ocean. From the site there is a particular focus down onto nearby Wedding Cake Island.
Rising out of the sandy substrate, the walls of the house extend into a series of retaining walls, which sculpt and contain the natural surroundings. The lower structure creates a solid base which acts as the body of the home, providing entry on the middle level and also sanctuary and privacy to the sleeping and service areas. This part of the building also acts as a cradle to the more expressive upper sections of the residence.
The living areas, both internal and external, occupy the upper level of the building. Two living blocks rest on the cradle, reaching out to the ocean and anchoring back into the steep site – shifting forwards and backwards in response to the internal living plan and the creation of protected external spaces. The northern living area is a wrapping of space, open to the north, providing protection to the south. The east-west transparency of this area connects the rear western garden to the ocean.
The southern living spaces are more introverted, opening out on to the garden or terminating in a window seat framing the sea view, hovering over the edge of the building base below. The two living blocks are held apart by lower levels roofs to ensure independent expression and differing internal spaces within an essentially open plan. The roof’s stepped nature allows for high-level solar access deep into the building.
Throughout the home the ocean views are ever present, but each room strives to capture a different portion of the vast ocean and coast, deliberately limiting and framing the views so as to provide a changing array of interest from every space.
The landscape is designed to augment two existing 50 year-old cacti, which managed to survive the construction process, with a mixture of coastal tolerant succulents and natives.
Randwick City Council Urban Design Awards 2008 Winner Residential Category – Single Dwelling House