Today we travel to the beautiful Australian city of Sydney, specifically to Narrabeen, a beachside suburb located between the ocean and a lagoon. Family homes in the area have been created in a historical context to the environment and usually have direct access to the freshwater lake. The villa we present to you today does have private access to the freshwater lake, however, it stands out from the traditional style of the neighbouring houses. The Narrabeen House plays with the dramatic contrast between the front and back views and highlights the contrasts between suburban life and pure nature.
The architectural firm Chrofi was founded in 2009 by Choi Ropiha. Although the office is relatively young, it has already been granted a number of prestigious architectural awards and has won public building competitions.
The street view shows the wooden façade and its honey-yellow colouring. The slats are mounted in a horizontal direction and underline the massive appearance of the building. The narrow vertical openings also counteract the rough appearance. Sliding elements, which were placed in front of the windows, can be used as sun protection and make it possible to close the façade entirely, so that an absolutely solid building arises. On the left side of the picture is the entrance, which can be almost overlooked due to its subtlety.
The back of the house, on the other hand, completely opens up. Large windows and doors open up the facade and give plenty of space. The exterior and interior merge into each other, which was one of the most important points in planning. The building sits on a pedestal, and the steps open out onto the garden. The black lacquered wood, mounted in a vertical direction, stretches the elongated building. In addition, the coloured slats structure the house, as they form a band across the home and mark the centre and the roof edge by a narrow margin.
In addition to the spacious garden, there is courtyard , which is surrounded on all four sides. This provides a windless, totally private open area in the house; a room under the open sky. The special arrangement of the room promotes social dynamics as well as the extension of the spatial possibilities of the house. In addition, the courtyard also has an important ecological role because it brings sun, light and air into the centre of the house.
The view of the freshwater lake is highlighted by deliberate arrangement of the furniture and the large sections of the windows. During the hot months, the sliding elements can be opened to create a natural draft. On the first we are presented with the three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
The ground floor is divided into the following areas: living room, dining room, kitchen, study and pool. Here we see the spacious living area that offers a large family plenty of room to move. When selecting the materials, the focus was on timber and stone. The furniture is not too experimental but instead relies on design classics and occurs mainly in brown and white tones. The structuring of the rooms was based heavily on the central location of the courtyard, which is a key element of the design. The individual rooms are arranged as a circle around the yard. The areas are not separated from each other, but flow organically into one another.
The staircase was elaborately staged and echoes the design of the exterior facade. To both sides of the steps, vertical beams run from the ground to the ceiling, holding the staircase in captivity. Maximum safety is guaranteed here for the user. The narrow spaces between the slats of different widths provide for natural light in the staircase and in the surrounding living area.
In addition to the proximity to the lake, this architectural showpiece also boasts a swimming pool, an important feature in the hot Australian climate. Here the pool is embedded in the wooden structure. Access to the swimming pool is located inside the central courtyard. A glass balustrade provides security for small children who can not swim. We hope you have enjoyed this brief tour of an ideal Australian home, paying homage to the surrounding nature, and using an open plan design to take advantage of the climate.