Bilgola House
PROJECTS  /  Bilgola House

Bilgola House

Tzannes Associates
Shannon McGrath

The house wraps around a courtyard, providing a protective enclosure from the street while maximising light and views. A central stair and void connect all the main areas and flood the home with northern sunlight softly filtered through a mature Norfolk Pine in the garden on the street

A lower-level rear street offers alternative access to the beach. The parti is simple and direct. From the entry, the house splits into two wings, the first, running north-south, accommodates a garage, children’s bedrooms and an adult’s study. The other east-west wing accommodates a master bedroom on ground level with the main living functions on an elevated level.

An outdoor terrace extending from the living space creates an ‘implied’ internal landscaped courtyard, which, combined with a lap pool below, completes a powerful integration of internal and external architectural elements. Spaces of varying height give the house a sense of scale. Small intimate private spaces contrast with more voluminous living spaces to provide appropriate richness and interest.

The house is composed predominantly of concrete, glass and steel, and is remarkably sober and robust. The concrete, in particular, is used with great finesse to achieve a thoroughly convincing, honest and high quality expression, well suited to its domestic context. The use of timber panelling and softer furnishings internally completes a well considered hierarchical attitude to interior and exterior domestic space.

Although the plan and materials are minimal and direct, the jury was very impressed by the subtlety derived from the architect’s restraint and the avoidance of extravagance.

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