A new 460 square metre 5 bedroom house for a large young family now nearing completion on a one hectare bushland site in the Sydney northern beaches suburb of Belrose.
The site provided unique design opportunities with a series of sandstone terraces falling way east towards Garigal National Park and panoramic views over wooded slopes to Narabeen Lagoon and the coast.
The architecture takes advantage of the steep topography of the site by stepping down the sandstone escarpments in a series of half levels. A single storey limewash masonry and hardwood facade fronts Forest Way acting as a buffer to the traffic noise with the “protected” living areas and bedrooms of the house behind opening to the views and dissolving into a lighter steel framed and timber construction. The main entry is understated with a simple steel canopy and angled sandstone wall leading inside to a central courtyard embracing a single scribbly gum, a focal point at the centre of the house around which is organised the open plan living areas and gallery circulation.
A stairwell descends through the various levels of the house offering glimpses to the outdoors so that the building becomes a way of descending through and experiencing the landscape around it. A swimming pool extends out off the sandstone ledge with an overflow edge creating a dramatic swimming experience.