Client: Fiona and Morris Lyda
Status: Development Application
The clients approached us to site and design a house on a beautiful property on the escarpment above Gerringong on the south coast of NSW. The site is dominated by 2 massive fig trees, with a series of dry stone walls running around the property being the only sign of previous use. The major design challenge was how to rationalise the two competing design drivers: the sweeping views to the south and the fig trees to the north.
After much deliberation it was decided that the house should appeal to both, with selected views to the south rather than an open glazed facade.
Strict local planning controls calling for a single storey residence in keeping with the local rural vernacular guided material and form. Exposed timber framing and clever use of fibre cement sheeting sit above a plinth of local bluestone collected from the site. The clients were keen to minimise the footprint of the house for economical and economic reasons, so it was decided that the master bedroom would occupy a mezzanine level above the guest wing, so the challenge became how to achieve this whilst maintaining the outward appearance of a 'single storey residence'. This was done by exploiting the slight change in level of the site, as well as carefully designing elevations to 'hide' the mezzanine level. The skillion roof forms reflect local shed forms, and give the house the appearance of rising from its surroundings rather than imposing itself on them.