Houzz Tour: City (Un) Limits
In this enviable location in the city-fringe suburb of Westmere, there was a pretty flat site owned by a couple who both work in the design/build industry. The challenge, though, and there's always one, was the council’s requirement for 24/7 access to stormwater services that sat right in the middle of the natural building platform.
The design solution was a ‘suspended’ single-level dwelling effectively slung between two ‘plinths’ which allowed the council access to a stormwater drain. Such an elongated plan necessitated pre-cambered steel beams spanning in excess of 12 metres!
The journey to the front door is via an entry courtyard where a garden complete with sculptural planter and hardy inexpensive native grasses cunningly disguises the storm-water drain.
The material palette combines traditional vernacular white boards and concrete block with crisp black joinery and a modernist style geometry.
A focal point in the main living area is the double-sided fireplace which not only brings warmth to the kitchen, living and dining area but provides definition to the separate zones and extra wall space for hanging art.
The kitchen is a smart monochrome look with a charcoal island and white bench top. Marine ply cabinetry lends warmth with a set of floor to ceiling cupboards for oodles of storage on the one side....
....and custom-designed built-in shelving for cook books and wine (and more wine) on the other.
A see-through, double-sided fireplace gives the design a lovely lightness of being as do pale-toned engineered timber floors.
Keeping with the lightness of touch, the stairwell is screened, not by a wall or even timber battens, but by steel rods which lend some privacy to the living zone too and....
....throws a series of patterns into the home as the day progresses. Although there is a downstairs courtyard, an upstairs deck area is the perfect place to capture both urban and coastal views.
Floating cabinetry and a frameless floor-to-ceilingshower door keep the sense of spaciousness in the master suite.
Integrated landscaping is in keeping with the modern mood while pavers interspersed with rows of planting keep the permeability of the site for better water run off.