- TIDA Australia Homes: Highly commended
Located in the stunning Sapphire Coast, New South Wales, Merimbula House was designed to carefully compliments the natural tones and textures of the surrounding Australian bushland.
Positioned adjacent to the Bournda National Park, the elevated site is approached down a ‘right of way’ from the main Sapphire Coast Road, heading north out of Merimbula. Situated on cleared land in a bush hazard area it enjoys views out to Short Point and the Tasman Sea.
The house is designed around a central living area with east and west wings that embrace a north-facing courtyard. The east wing accommodates guest bedrooms and bathroom, lounge, and a detached physio studio. While the master bedroom and bathroom, laundry, internal garage, and an outside shower are all situated in the West wing.
The entry to the house is through the north-facing courtyard with a calming garden feature. Entering through the front door into the central northern hub which was designed around the kitchen, dining and main living area, this also provides a generous link to the outdoor living area which can be enjoyed yearlong with a built-in outdoor fireplace.
It was essential to the client that there was no need for air conditioning throughout the house, so the design incorporates large overhangs for north facing glazing to control heat build-up and effective cross-ventilation with specific window placements, including air damper, wood fires, and heavily insulated external cladding.
Materials and products were sourced locally, including a beautiful run of spotted gum for the internal and external wall cladding. The main floor is concrete with a natural cork overlay, to provide a soft underfoot. Hoop pine veneer plywood was used for the raised ceiling, and this was also continued through to the bathroom and laundry joinery. Overall, the finishes were calm and cohesive, giving a beautiful natural finish to the house which celebrates the native surroundings.
As part of the client brief, we needed to accommodate two businesses on site. A physio studio on the east wing provided with its own entrance for clients, but also easily accessible for the homeowners through a breezeway connection between the house and studio. The main house needed to remain very private from this studio, and subsequently the homeowners wanted this studio space to have the ability to be used as an Airbnb or guest accommodation in the future.
The other business required its own work shed and storage space along the west boundary of the property, away from the main house and accessible to staff coming and going from the property to retrieve tools and materials.