Our brief was to create a home to entertain, live with family, or be alone equally comfortably. The site, like many streets in Sydney, is access by a ridge road, but unlike most, this road meanders north on a knife-edge. To the east, a wildly changing view of Whale Beach and to the west, the calmer bay of Pittwater; the site provides a fluid bridge between the two.
A stone wall gently guides towards the entry: a gap between the garden wall which gradually wraps around the library and the main living and sleeping pavilion. This forms an ?internal? courtyard. Protected from the southwest by the gently curved built form. Once opened, the interior spaces extend outward, merging otherwise quite separate areas of the house. It's filtering awning both protects (from rain and sun) and directs the eye. Like a huge Baleen filter the awning buffers the transition between inside and out, drawing winter sunlight across the floor. At night, the edges of these fine curved lines are lit to mirror the score of Debussy?s ?Moonlight? as it appears on a pianola roll.
Custom joinery is as much a part of the building, delighting and accentuating the built form.
Given the site, its constraints/exposure, the solution has provided for internal and external spaces that can be used year-round. The entry, living areas, courtyard and rear gardens, despite the topography, are connected by a seemingly uninterrupted sequence of external spaces. While the main living level is generally open plan, it is discretely ordered: Its walls are operable, becoming a breezeway, which together with the awning can moderate light and guide with its form deep into the living areas.
The spatial arrangements, like the roof, overlap. External-shading with deep-eaves, retractable external blinds moderate east/west sun. This blurs the edges of its rooms.