Tony Masters has used each level and its linking stairs to unveil aspects of the awe-inspiring view as one journeys around the house.
A discreet single-height facade greets the visitor to this house in one of Sydney's beachside suburbs. All you see from the street is a double garage, and an entrance approached via a timber bridge. The rest of the hosue is below the line of sight, anchored to the steep sandstone rock.
The critical linking element to all levels is the circulationby way of a very generous stair. The journey is orchestarted to include changes in direction, providing the opportunity to pause and enjoy the view.
The client brief was precise and defined.
They wanted a light, spacious house with clean lines, high ceilings, expressed simplicity , good storage and easy living.
Site conditions were instruemental in determining how the designer met the brief.
The site is predominately sandstone so the building needed to be seperated from the hill to allow the easy flow of water around and underneath it. The concrete slab and steel construction is set solidly into the rock.
Apart from the steepness of the site, the positioning of each level was also determined by respect for neighbours views and the proximity of a park.
The resulting building offers a journey of visual delight, starting with the front entrance which has been designed as a "dramatic statement floating in space". A glazed box perched at the end of a timber walkway, it forms a viewing platform from which to marvel at beach views on one side and the site's own landscaping and park views in the other direction.
From here stairs lead down to a cellar, homeoffice and sun drenched roof garden platform. Concrete planters hold lavender and rosemary and afford the garden a tailored elegance.
Down another flight of stairs, one comes into the main living area, an open plan space occupying the length of the building. The lounge, kitchen, and casual dining areas are open to north and east views.
The 4th level is dedicated to bedrooms , bathrooms and laundry facilities.
Durable finishes thorughout were neccessary for the building to meet a growing family's needs as well as the climatic conditions of a beachside location.
Although a large building the visual mass of the structure is contained by the ararngement of the levels as they descend the slope.
The result is a distinctive building which celebrates its unique location, and uses the site to produce an exciting and sculptural form.