60’s Palm Beach modernism in a suburban beach house context.
Simplicity, robustness and elements performing multiple functions. These along with a simple response to the site and urban context are the underlying principles of the Cylinders House. This home is a discreet yet powerful addition to the urban landscape of the suburb of Salt in northern NSW.
The mass of the building has been withdrawn from the street edge, creating light, promoting breezes, and consciously reducing the scale of the streetscape. The carefully considered landscape, rather than the building mass, becomes the dominant element bordering the public realm.
The ‘U’ shaped plan and elevated floor level relative to the street gives the occupants substantial privacy whilst allowing a broad outlook. The home uses courtyards to enhance privacy and allow natural light and ventilation into bedrooms and wet areas. The siting of the plan takes advantage of and allows the building setbacks from the street to become part of the integrated external living spaces of the home. This also increases the separation to the homes opposite adding to the feeling of space and openness within what is a tight urban context.
The plan celebrates vibrancy of movement through the visual connection of circulation around the home with hallways and living areas bounding and looking through the main external courtyard space.
The simplicity extends to the building shape, with a series of perforated boxes forming the mass of the home. Each box is connected to the other, with glazing typically providing a lightness between elements. The glazing also allows the expression of the edge –the edge between internal and external and the sharp edge of the cantilevered concrete roof.
The concrete roof performs multiple functions from the practical of keeping out the rain, allowing shading from the sun and providing insulation, through to the aesthetic of the robust industrial formed concrete ceiling, and allowing the absolute simplicity of the edge. Similarly, the filigree aluminium screens provide filtered light and sun shading whilst providing privacy to the upper level of the home. Selectively used timber along with natural travertine flooring internally provides a warmth and homeliness to this simple design. Natural lime based render used internally and externally helps blur the line between inside and out.
The key allied disciplines of structural and landscape design along with the experience and craftsmanship of the builder were key to the success of this project. Cost efficiencies were achieved through the combined and focussed efforts of all parties involved.
The planning and form of this home allows cross flow ventilation, ample natural light, control of summer sun and admittance of winter sun. Water tanks and solar hot water add to the sustainability credentials of this home.
Restraint was critical in the design and is clearly evident in this finished home. It is seen in the planning and massing, the materials selections and detailing and through to the highly considered and integrated landscape. The home allows the family to feel connected both with each other and with the surrounding suburbs, but always on their own terms.
Project Team: Matt Cooper, Marguerite Pollard, Dan Evans
Photography: Fatfish Photography
Builder: Benchmark Building Projects
Structural Engineer: Westera Partners
Landscaping: Dragon Trees Australia