On a sloping site in Coolum, Queensland, architect Lindsay Clare designed a classic Sunshine Coast beach house. Almost 20 years on the home, with panoramic ocean views, has been sensitively renewed by architects Owen and Vokes.
“We didn’t set out to re-design the original Lindsay Clare House, but rather to preserve its character,” explains Owen and Vokes’ Emma Hodgkinson.
The architects made only a few alterations to the existing house, including an extension and re-location of the kitchen and the opening of the rear wall, all helping to connect the living spaces to the landscape beyond.
“Our new work includes a garage ‘bunker’ with garden over, and the rear extension with verandah access to two bedrooms and two bathrooms.”
Most of the original features of the house have been retained – aside from re-painting the home from the original blue to the new crisp white.
“[The alterations involved] re-occupation rather than re-modeling, such as inserting new built-in joinery to re-orient the living spaces towards views or to connect with landscape spaces,” Emma says.
The whole project involved making the flow of the home, which is over 5 levels, work for its occupants, rather than a disjointed collection of separate modules. A fibro-clad rear extension has helped to achieve this with a small excavation into the hillside.
Perhaps the most striking addition is the solid timber casements overlooking the courtyard which can be opened or closed for privacy and weather – although as Emma explains, “they have actually only been closed once during a wild storm”.
It appears that with homes such as this – and perhaps this is a broader comment on life itself – it is the restrictions placed upon us, the challenges and the remnants of history that deliver the most creative results.
The project won the 2010 Australian Institute of Architects Sunshine Coast House of the Year.
If you liked this house, you’ll love the home of writer John Birmingham, also by Owen and Vokes, in the upcoming Issue 09 of Habitus magazine – out September 2010.
Owen and Vokes
Photographer: Jon Linkins