Gerroa is a popular holiday destination, on the South Coast of NSW. The village is located at the Northern end of a long beach, adjacent to a lagoon, with the main streets running out along the South side of the headland. This particular site is above the road, and slopes up to the North approximately 5m in elevation. There are extensive views to the South down the beach, as well as a view across the lagoon to the Southwest. There are houses adjacent as well as houses in the foreground of the view. A large Radiata Pine tree existed on the site in the rear corner. The best views are from the level at the rear of the site.
The client’s brief was for a simple holiday house that took most advantage of the site. An easy transition from the beach to the house was required and surfaces are to be hardy so that durability is not a concern. The house needed to accommodate extended family groups, but also act as a simple weekender for a couple. Winter storms on the South coast are ferocious and this site is quite exposed to the South so the house had to be able to cope with this.
The built form is articulated into 3 simple elements, under a continuous roof, that wrap around a central external space. The idea was to create an elevated platform that allowed extensive views to the South, yet connected well to the site on the North side. The Living space has a concrete floor, for thermal mass to moderate temperature swings. The roof form lifts up to the North, allowing good winter sun penetration and presents it’s low edge to the South, allowing the strong Southerly winds to pass over . To maximize views and sunlight this space is elongated and runs East / West (across the block). On the East side of the block a wing runs toward the rear of the site, containing the main bedroom, ensuite and studio space. On the west side of the block a larger wing runs to the rear, accommodating the additional bedrooms, a secondary living space and a semi outdoor bathroom. These three forms provide a sheltered outdoor space in the middle, which catches winter sun and is protected from the undesirable winds.
Much of the living space on the site is actually outside the buildings, in the courtyard or on decks. This works well with the indoor / outdoor nature of visiting here. Materials throughout relate to the context of a seaside village, they are economical and corrosion resistant. Timber is used extensively, floors are either polished concrete or . Eaves and wall linings are fibre cement.
Sustainable features –Correctly orientated thermal mass. Heavy insulation to walls and ceilings, Rainwater harvesting for wc, laundry, garden usage, minimal footprint to building, using less materials and resources, sustainable timber use such as reconstituted timber concealed structure, Heat Pump hot water technology