Inspired by the Gold Coast fibro shack aesthetic of yesteryear, this small site is home to two dwellings designed to embrace a sense of place and encourage rituals like setting down the surfboard post-surf on the light filled deck to enjoy a morning coffee.
Early in the project, it was decided that the height was to be limited to two storeys and the arrangement of the dwellings was to be front-back instead of side-by side. Whilst the local town plan allows for a partial third storey, two storeys was more appropriate for the locality to limit the impact on neighbouring residential properties and to be consistent with the streetscape.
A front-back arrangement of the dwellings allowed breathing room and a sense of space – something that was unlikely to be achieved in a side-by-side arrangement.
The use of side boundary setback space was also at the forefront of discussions early on. At ten metres wide, every metre counted. It was imperative that the eastern side boundary setback was usable space rather than defaulting to standard boundary garden beds. This helped the ground level to feel expansive and unconstrained. A continuation of finishes from inside to outside, and the use of flush door sills encourages the ground level spaces to be used as one, rather than being separate.
The combination of white battens, weatherboard, fibre cement, breeze block and a splash of colour was used to anchor the project into its surroundings. Internally, white walls and ceilings help to fill the spaces with light while blackbutt timber and carrara marble help to soften them. The result is an efficient, playful project suited to two young, growing families.