Blurred boundaries

This home flows freely between internal and external living areas, with views of the sea, pond, pool, courtyard or terrace from every room

It's easy to see the potential of a site on the water's edge, but such properties are few and far between. Most of us are likely to find ourselves a block or two back from the beach.

Designer Jason Saunders of Arc Seven 1 was asked to design a new home for a couple with two adult children. They had lived in the area for many years and felt it was time to downsize the family home and retire. The block has a north-south orientation, the ocean is to the west, other views are northwards, and prevailing winds blow in from the south-west. Additionally, Saunders says he needed a design that reduced the impact of the hot afternoon sun, so glazing on the western side of the house had to be limited, but without restricting views.

After taking these factors into account, Saunders has designed a three-storey house with living areas on the upper two levels, and with internal and external spaces flowing smoothly from one to the other. Every room either looks out over the ocean, or enjoys a more intimate view of a garden, internal courtyard, pond or balcony.

To make the most of the views, the main open-plan living, dining and kitchen area is on the top floor, and flows out to a large, covered balcony. A ceiling height of 2.4m in the combined kitchen and dining area creates an intimate atmosphere for this space, while a generous 4m-high ceiling in the living area gives it a feeling of airiness and volume.

The master suite is also on this level so the owners can enjoy the ocean views from the bedroom. The bathroom looks out onto its own private roof garden, and the open-plan layout allows for a distant view of the sea.

To keep the house cool, the design provides for minimal glazing on the western wall, while wide overhanging eaves shade the living areas. Extra light is brought into the kitchen and dining areas via a long, narrow roof window in the centre of the house, and through clerestory windows on three sides of the living room.

This home was designed by Jason Saunders of architecture, building, commercial building, condominium, corporate headquarters, elevation, facade, home, house, mixed use, property, real estate, residential area, blue
This home was designed by Jason Saunders of Arc Seven.1. Here is an street view of the home.

Saunders has separated the children's and guest bedrooms, the study and another sitting room from the owners' living and bedroom spaces by locating them on the ground floor. Walls on the boundaries of the property ensure privacy for these areas and create a series of terraces and courtyards. Rooms at this level all have intimate outlooks that include a decorative pond, a swimming pool and a covered outdoor living area.

"The various vistas ensure that each room looks out onto a interesting feature," says Saunders.

The basement of the house contains a cellar, garaging and a gym. A staircase wraps around a central lift, providing easy access between levels, and ensures the owners can stay in the home for many years.

Saunders has selected a contemporary palette of materials, many of which are repeated both on the exterior and inside of the house.

"We wanted a modern form for the home, which often means a minimalist palette, but by introducing a mix of materials, we have created a home that looks as if it is meant to be lived in," says Saunders.

Clad with compressed panels painted in a Porter's rust finish, the house has an aged, weathered look. These panels are repeated inside the house to screen the entry from the living area, and stone-clad feature walls are used both outside and inside the house.

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This home was designed by Jason Saunders of Arc Seven.1. Here is a view of a dining table with eight chairs, a kitchen bench, appliances, a sink, wooden flooring and cabinetry.

"The different colours in the exterior cladding orange, rust, and silver give the house a feeling of warmth and make it feel welcoming," says the designer.

Lebanese sandstone floors flow through the ground level and the terraces, and the cedar-panelled living room ceiling continues over the balcony.

Battens used as a screen on the terrace reappear inside as a decorative feature on the back of the kitchen island.

"I don't visualise the perimeter of the house as a single, clear line. In a climate like this, where people spend a lot of time outside, I like to blur the divisions between the interior and exterior living areas," says Saunders.

Credit list

Building supervisor
Di Vincenzo Constructions
Window and door joinery
Concept Windows
Glass balustrading
Designer Frameless Glass
Lysaght Colorbond Trimdek
Lebanese limestone, American white oak
Lighting City
Audiovisual, speakers, control systems
Intelligent Home
Kitchen cabinetry
Briggs Veneer Smoked Oak
Backlit onyx
Fisher & Paykel; Miele
Kitchen manufacturer
Classic Cabinets
External screening
James Hardie Sycon Matrix
Stone cladding
Eco Outdoor
Dulux; Porter’s Paints
Westralia Pools
Air conditioning
Intelligent Life
Oliveri Nu-Petite
Oven, hob, microwave

Story by: Mary Webb

07 Feb, 2012

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