Bronte Beach House
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Architect Virginia Kerridge designs houses of luxurious simplicity. She eschews self-conscious gestures in favour of richly elaborated details and lets the quality of her work speak for itself. Kerridge's House in the Trees, spanned earth and sky with crafted stone walls, deep timber canopies and an elegantly vaulted roof.
Parsley Bay provided the spectacular setting for House in the Trees and Kerridge's latest project enjoys a similarly glittery outlook. The house sits above a remnant tram cutting, at the top of a steep slope notched with stone terraces. Propped on steel struts the house cranes over the edge towards a magnetic vista of Bronte Beach.
At the top of a long flight of stairs bordering the terraced garden, smooth concrete steps float in beds of large pebbles. Water cascades over the edge of a shallow pool alongside the steps. A chain hangs over the pool from a gutter above which cantilevers beyond a bamboo screen.
As carefully balanced as Ikebana, this composition is the first in a carefully sequenced series of events which comprise the house's entry courtyard. At one end of the courtyard is a stone retaining wall, at the other the spumy Bronte surf. Halfway along the courtyard a timber pergola extends over the recessed front door below a sculptural copper box. On either side Kerridge has layered low board-finished concrete walls, sliding slatted timber screens and tiles of reinforced fibreglass concrete. Like few other water glimpsing spaces in Sydney, the intricately arranged interplay of textures and materials orchestrated here manages to resist the vacuum of the view.
Bronte Beach House Image Gallery
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