Bark Design Architects

Spoonbill House, Peregian Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Spoonbill responds sensitively to its vegetated coastal site by ‘settling’ into it carefully. Responding to the sustainable aspirations of its family, it contributes benefit to the environment through its design. Displaying the timber craft of its construction by its proud carpenter, it responds to the climate and broader landscape beyond its site. It is an understated and robust timber house for contemporary family life.

Spoonbill is not a decadant 'trophy' house and has been conceived and produced with a genuine economy of means, a natural casual elegance, a lightness and an authenticity about place in mind. Spoonbill’s character is natural, understated, permeable, translucent,transparent and made of vertical elements echoing its neighbouring trees.

The economical and natural material palette combines the warmth and natural patina of recycled Spotted Gum hardwood shiplap cladding, framing, flooring, decking, joinery and screens, polycarbonate sheet, glass and polished concrete evocative of beach sand, providing a rich natural character.

Connection with the land is immediate and direct, focused into the site and its northern backdrop, rather than outward, but engaging well climatically.

Spatially, the house consists of two wings which are gathered around the central ‘public’ room which is a tall and generous ‘heart’ within the house for arrival and greeting, meeting and gathering as a family and with friends, and cooking, eating, playing, learning and relaxing within its coastal landscape. Parents, children, guests and services have their own separate zones gathered around the double height ‘heart’ of the house.

Significant trees were mapped and took precedence over built fabric, with the components of the building footprint located between the canopies and root systems of the Moreton Bay Ashes and Banksias throughout the site. As a siting strategy, the house is set well back and 'nestled' in low from the street, providing a densely vegetated natural entry courtyard. The arrival experience is by way of informal timber platforms meandering through trees, not unlike a coastal boardwalk or walking over a ‘dune’.

Only a lightly framed timber carport occupies the street edge along with a cluster of existing coastal trees. Movement through the house works with the natural topography and heightens the original site experience of ‘descending’ into the site, and through towards the 'made' northern open space for outdoor family life.

Orientation, siting, vegetation retention, recycled timber selection, flyash concrete, natural light and cooling through passive cross ventilation, water harvesting, solar hot water and open space planning for edible gardens on the north east all contribute to the sustainability credentials of the dwelling.

However, the primary design principle is that the house simply ‘feels good’.
Country: Australia
Spoonbill House, Peregian Beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
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