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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Freshwater House, Sydney, Australia

Style, functionality and location collaborate in this enviable Sydney home
Freshwater House in Australia has many enviable attributes, not least its location overlooking the water of Sydney’s Northern beaches.

Designed by local architects Chenchow Little and completed earlier this year, the house has a physical duality which represents both total protection and total openness. Making this possible is the unique use of dark folding screens surrounding the different levels of the house. Closed they present a secure and bold structure, foreboding from the outside yet cosy and safe on the inside. But once open, the house is flooded with light and open to the elements becoming part of the surroundings and presenting a welcoming home which makes the most of the spectacular views over the water.

In order to maintain a level of privacy for the sleeping quarters whilst making the most of the Australian climate and open-living, the design maximises the gradient of the site, placing the main bedroom in the lower axis surrounded by a secure courtyard.

In the main living space it is almost impossible to differentiate between the interior and the exterior when the shields are open. Same-level landscaped grass areas become a part of the living room and the clay coloured flooring expands the collaboration with nature in the open-plan space.

With beautiful design comes functionality and the screens present a solution to climatic changes - closed they both insulate in the winter and protect from harsh sunshine in the summer ensuring that the inhabitants can make the most of their stunning abode.
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