Take a Closer Look
The architectural envelope and general layout of the building was already complete. It was over to Matt and his design team to make the concept a reality.With views overlooking Bondi Beach on one side and the ocean cliff on the other, for Matt capitalising on the incredible aspect was vital. The home’s position also influenced the material specification with durability being at the forefront. A clever combination of timber, concrete, stone, brick, and steel ensured this home would wear well under the harsh, coastal conditions.
While the architectural form was already conceived, the finishes, circulation of space and the transition between the inside and out needed to be resolved. The site became the driving influence of the entry and circulation within the interior. Matt said the objective was to replicate the levels of the rocks as you walk up towards the home’s front door.Matt explains: “The whole entry sequence was following the natural contours of the cliff up to the entry level. It’s like you’re walking up this natural rock platform, arriving at a big central void.”Within the generously-sized void and rising up through the volumes of the building sits a black, sculptural staircase which has become the feature jewel of the home.
The whole entry sequence was designed to follow the natural contours of the cliff
“The strong fabricated steel stairwell was a design element that took some convincing,” says Matt. But once on board, the client could see the value the sculptural piece had on the circulation and aesthetics of the interior. Hand painted in black, the stairwell form contrasts beautifully against the neutral palette and the void offers a spatial simplicity to the interior.”
The client was exact about the materials and colour palette used throughout the building, which Matt says helped drive the high-quality finish. The concept revolved around a classic palette that embodied some texture yet remained clean and unobtrusive. Spanish bricks were specified for the interior and exterior due to their raw finish and the lovely 50mm dimension. Matt notes this scale was very important when considering the scale of the interior space.Andorra limestone pavers gave the right texture with neutral tones. “The stone had to have character, but still be slightly understated,” says Matt. “It also had to be more enduring and the limestone fits really well into the classic palette.”
While materiality was at the forefront of both the architect’s and client’s vision for the property, capturing those prominent views rather than overshadow them was equally vital.The design of the home’s split level which features the kitchen and living area was in line with the edge of the cliff. By creating a column-free corner and adding expansive glass panels, once you slide the doors open the façade disappears.The connection to the site continues on the other side where a simple landscape of a stone paved patio and lawn draws the eye to one of the most important elements of the project: the clifftop view.