When Eduardo Villa and Maria Muniz-Villa were approached by the owners of a parcel of land overlooking the ocean at MacMasters Beach, NSW, it was the rekindling of a great relationship.
The pair, principals of design firm Villa + Villa, had worked with these clients on two previous projects and the brief was simple – to create a peaceful escape, where the owners could enjoy holidays and long weekends, capturing the beauty of the surrounding Bouddi National Park and the extensive sea views.
“There are no definitive barriers between the interior and exterior of the house,” explains Eduardo. “We wanted as much as possible for the house to be open and fluid, completely embracing the beauty of the landscape.”
This connection with envionrment has been achieved with the use of large expanses of glass and outdoor spaces in the living areas, while downstairs shuttered sliding doors provide access to the views, protection from the wind and sun and a notable design feature.
However, the building had also to respond to the harshness of this uniquely Australian environment. The Southern elevation is subject to strong coastal winds – prompting the architects to reduce the number of openings on that side – and with the beauty of the natural bushland comes the eternal threat of fire, affecting the home’s positioning on the block.
“We have [also] introduced a sprinkler system externally, utilising the water of the pool in a fire emergency, and everything can be operated by a mobile phone,” Eduardo explains.
This home’s surroundings also inspired the use of materials both inside and out, with sandstone, timber and natural fibres. Inside, Maria worked with the owners to create a sparse, yet warm and inviting space.
She explains how her passion for hunting down rare finds informed the choice of finishes and objects, including 1930’s vintage coat hangers, antique bottles and signed ceramic pots from the Boyd artists.
Maria and Eduardo put the success of this design down to “a great working relationship”, however – as with all the homes they create – they say the key is “to know and understand the clients’ needs and respond to their brief. As they will live there not you.”
Villa + Villa
Photography: Anson Smart