City Beach Residence

Status: in progress

Services provided:
  • Architecture /
  • Design

This City Beach Residence is the result of a dramatic transformation of an existing two storey residence into a more contemporary impressive three storey residence that capitalises on the beautiful location of the site.


A circular driveway leads residents to a large garage that houses 4 cars adjacent to a cellar, and an entrance foyer with a lift and a staircase. Also on the ground floor is a guest room with a walk-in-robe, ensuite and kitchenette. Each storey staggers up the heavily sloping site, with the first floor being the largest and containing the main living areas. On the first floor there is the main kitchen which is attached to a walk through store and laundry, dining and living area which open onto a large deck and rooftop garden. The clients had a lot of artwork and we managed to convert an existing lounge room into an art gallery to accommodate this. There is also a theatre room, powder room, one bedroom with ensuite, study and balcony, another bedroom with walk-in-robe, ensuite, and private rooftop garden access, and a third bedroom with ensuite. The second floor contains the master bedroom with large walk-in-robe and makeup station with ensuite, an office, bathroom, an open plan bar/kitchen, dining, and lounge area that opens up onto a tiled deck area with spa. The home is finished with a combination of concrete, white paint, and sandstone cladding with generous balcony planter boxes.



What were the clients’ main driving priorities for this house?

Our clients had three main priorities for the house, firstly, as a family with older teenaged children they wanted to create a home that brought them together. Secondly, they loved to entertain, so they wanted an area of the house that would be a retreat for the adults where they can entertain their friends while giving the rest of the family space and privacy. Another important factor in the renovation of the home was that they wanted to maximise the Indian Ocean views from the site.


What was the biggest challenge or compromise that had to be made?

The great thing about the existing building is that it had good bones and a workable layout but the biggest challenge was that the living areas were on the south side of the house rather than the north. This meant that trying to get light into the living area and second storey was a big challenge. To address this, we designed a cut-out in the upper floor on the southern side which allows for a giant skylight over the kitchen and dining area.


Another challenge was the prevailing sea breeze that howls up the hill in City Beach. Being very exposed to the elements, designing a home that captured the views and was able to have protected outdoor areas was one of the driving forces behind many of the decisions.


A more minor challenge was that the original design of the house had a pokey staircase in the middle of the building. There was no grandeur to the staircase whatsoever and it did not suit the aesthetics of the home. We converted that existing stairwell into the liftwell and pulled the entry to the home forward to create new entry statement, allowing us to create a new 1.8m wide grand staircase which runs all the way to the upper floor.


What is the clients’ and your favourite feature of this home?

The existing building had a lot of subtle curves throughout so we continued that theme through the rest of the design. This lead to my favourite feature of the home, the new curved roof design as it adds a subtlety and softness to the building. This also doubled as a mechanism through which we could minimise the impact on the rear neighbours who overlooked the building.




Can you give us a rundown of the sustainable features of this home?

The most impactful sustainable feature of the home in fact was that we renovated the house rather than knocking it down and starting from scratch. Despite renovations adding more complexity than a new build, this decision saves materials, labour, transport outlays, and reduces the amount of waste produced. Additionally, all windows in the house are double glazed to minimise heat gain in summer and heat loss in winter. New windows have been strategically placed to maximize air flow through the home whilst avoiding the problem of high winds generated from the sea breeze and exposed location howling through the home. A solar pv and battery system has been designed to generate up to 75% of the estimated required energy usage of the home.