City Beach Residence

A luxurious renovation for a family home.

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

A circular driveway leads residents to a four-car garage 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 the main kitchen attaches to a walk-in storage room, laundry, dining and living area.

Client priorities

Our clients had three main priorities for the house. As a family with older teenage children, they wanted to create a home that brought them together.

They also wanted an area for entertaining that was separate from the rest of the house to allow for space and privacy for the rest of the family. Another important factor was to maximise the ocean views.

The living and dining area opens 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, and three bedrooms.




Each of these bedrooms have their own features, the first with an ensuite, study and balcony. The second bedroom has a walk-in-robe, ensuite and rooftop garden access. The third has an ensuite.

The second floor contains the master bedroom with an ensuite and a large walk-in-robe with a makeup station. An open plan bar/kitchen, dining and lounge area opens to a tiled deck area with a spa. There is also an office and an additional bathroom. The facade is finished with a combination of concrete, white paint, and sandstone cladding with generous balcony planter boxes.


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 getting light into the living area and the second storey was a big challenge. To address this, we designed a cut-out in the third storey that 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 but had 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 and it didn’t suit the aesthetics of the home. We converted that existing stairwell into the lift and moved the entry to the home forward to create a new entry statement which included a grand 1.8m wide staircase that runs all the way to the third floor.

Sustainable Features

The most impactful sustainable feature of the home was that we renovated the house rather than knocking it down and starting from scratch. Despite the complexity of renovating, it 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 airflow through the home while avoiding areas that are hit with strong ocean winds and reducing the howling that they often cause.

A solar PV and battery system has been designed to generate up to 75% of the estimated required energy usage of the home.

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