When Duke Kahanamoku paddled out and caught a wave at Freshwater beach nearly 100 years ago he started a surfing movement that has shaped our national identity.
It’s still a pleasure to surf at this beach but it’s a privilege to live here and architects Ian Brewster and Larry Melocco have designed a classic example of beach architecture that does justice to this iconic place.
The house sits on a small site that has a dramatic outlook over the beach and ocean towards North Head. The building is designed to represent a weathered timber crate, jetsam tossed up on a rocky headland that provides a cave-like shelter below a raised viewing platform.
Its architecture refers to the rough shacks constructed on the rocks at the base of nearby headland cliffs.
Protected and secluded spaces are created by the use of highly adjustable enclosing walls and screens. An internal courtyard surrounded by concrete walls provides separation from the proximity of surrounding homes. An elevated living plane sits on steel pilotis to provide a wide view of the beach and ocean headland.
The building uses a palette of concrete, hardwood, glass and copper left in their raw state. The interior embodies a feeling of ease by layering complex finishes over raw materials to create a relaxed family home.