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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Bundeena Housing Project, Sydney, Australia

Tony Owen NDM complete phase 1 of the Bundeena Housing Project near Sydney
The project is a collection of 15 stylish beach houses set in a pristine bushland setting. The site itself is just back from the beach and has stunning views of Port Hacking and Hastings Beach. What is unique about this development is that each house has been designed as if it were a stand-alone luxury designer home.

There are, however, a few coastal towns that have maintained this ‘holiday feel’ but are on Sydney’s doorstep. Bundeena, set in the pristine bushland of the Royal National Park south of Sydney, is one such place. Because Bundeena is surrounded by national park and cannot grow, it has retained its intimate and undeveloped charm, yet it has some of the most stunning views in NSW.

Tony Owen says, “You may find one-off contemporary beach houses like this in Sydney, but it is unique to find 15 purpose-built houses grouped together in this way.

"There are three different house types depending on the location, the slope and the shape of the land. Stage 1 are the ‘cross-over house’,” Owen says. In this house, the top floor, which contains the living areas, is oriented east/west and the lower level bedrooms run north/south. This allows the house to sit into the slope with minimal impact. The top floor maximises exposure to the northern sun whilst the lower level is directed toward the beach. This design allows for a large north facing deck area in front of the living room which sits above the bedrooms. Thus simple sustainable principles result in a very sculptural form.

The houses have been conceived specifically for the design-conscious city dweller. The site is sometimes quite steep so the houses have been designed on poles to touch the ground lightly and have minimum impact on the environment.

Owen says:"The houses have a progressive feel with clean contemporary lines. We sought to create a stylish lifestyle, but at the same time the houses are clad in timber and natural materials so that they fit into the natural landscape. We also designed the houses using principles of sustainable design. We always said that we should have a house where a water tank would not look out of place”. Because the site has a strong bushland character, the landscape is integral to the design
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