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Multi-level, waterfront home with expansive decks

The water sparkles and the boats in the bay bob on their moorings this Pittwater home maximises a spectacular location

The large sliders is this remodelled house are house, interior design, living room, property, real estate, gray
The large sliders is this remodelled house are made from selected New Guinea rosewood and were supplied by Stockwells Joinery. They span an 8.5m opening. The interior decor is relaxed and beachy, and contains a fireplace clad in local sandstone. The large deck accomodates an alfresco dining setting.

Not every waterfront property has a house to match a magnificent view. Sometimes, there's a need to simply start over and rebuild from the ground up.

That was precisely the case with this project in picturesque Pittwater, NSW. When the new owner bought the property, it was clear the house had passed its use-by date, says Peter Best of Peter LM Best Constructions.

"The site was fantastic, but the house was less so," he says. "It was a very tired brick home, with an adjoining boatshed. With serious drainage issues needing to be resolved, the best solution was to rebuild on the same footprint, retaining a couple of the concrete slabs and a little of the original brickwork."

The new house, which was designed by architect Mark Korgul of Watershed Design, climbs over four levels. The main living level captures the best views, thanks to a large, open-plan living area and huge wood sliders that open up to a generously sized balcony.

"Recycled blackbutt timber features right through the home, from the flooring to the decks and weatherboards," says Best. "It even wraps around the structural steel elements."

Posts and beams are in recycled spotted gum. Other building materials include white Sydney sandstone, which features on a block wall and retaining walls.

Many of the doors and windows, including the four massive sliders opening onto the deck, are in New Guinea rosewood. These were all fabricated by specialist supplier Stockwells Joinery. The company says because the joinery was to have a clear finish, the timber was selected for its uniform colour.

Managing director Glenn Johnston says the doors and windows were fabricated not only to meet Australian standards, but also to cope with the coastal conditions.


Minimalist wall-hung basin with mirrored storage unit above. architecture, bathroom, bathroom accessory, bathroom cabinet, daylighting, home, interior design, plumbing fixture, product design, room, sink, gray
Minimalist wall-hung basin with mirrored storage unit above. A toilet with an in-wall cistern sits next to it.

Peter Best says quality craftsmanship is essential on such a high-end project, and suppliers were chosen for their precision work and the quality of the finished product.

Davebilt Industries was commissioned to fabricate and install approximately 14 tonnes of structural steel for the house, which included framing for the cantilevered Vergola louvre structure over the deck, and the steel staircase. Many of the steel assemblies exceeded 10m in length and 1.1 tonnes in weight.

The company liaised with steel detailer Otto Roos of 3D Solutions, who provided computer modelling that enabled all parties to see the interaction between new and existing elements during the design phase of the steel detailing.

Davebilt Industries director Greg Byrne says the company, which frequently works on prestigious residential projects, had the experience and factory resources to fabricate the long, non-symmetrical structural assemblies with a straightness tolerance of 1mm or less.

Peter Best says access was a challenge for the building team and subcontractors. At one stage three cranes were employed as a single large crane could not negotiate the narrow street and overhead powerlines.

Not surprisingly, the latest technology has been utilised in the house as well as the construction. There is a 4.9kW solar electricity system, along with reverse-cycle air conditioning and motorised blinds. The house also comes with an internal lift for the upper two levels, and there is an external inclinator that runs from the street level to the first floor of the boatshed.

"The house is also designed to maximise cross ventilation, and the breezes that come off the water," says Best. "Louvre windows are strategically placed."

The waterfront location has influenced much of the aesthetics as well. For example, the ceiling in the main living area, and walls in the main circulation area, feature V-joint tongue-and-groove panelling that mimics shiplap.

Detail of internal wooden louvres. architecture, daylighting, handrail, interior design, shelf, shelving, stairs, wood, gray, brown
Detail of internal wooden louvres.

The boatshed, which is on the lower level near the pontoon, has been remodelled to provide additional guest accommodation with a mezzanine bedroom.

However, the house itself provides four bedrooms and five bathrooms. The attention to detail in the bathrooms reflects the high-end nature of the build.

Fixtures and fittings were supplied by Hardware & General, a company that specialises in building and plumbing supplies in the greater Sydney area.

The bathroomware, which was specified by the architect in conjunction with the owner, includes a Kaldewei freestanding bath that introduces a bold sculptural element to the master suite. The tub is teamed with a Sussex Voda floormount mixer that enhances the sleek , contemporary look.

Other bathroom fixtures include Parisi undercounter basins and toilets. To keep the look streamlined, the toilets feature Geberit in-wall cisterns.

Hardware & General staff have ongoing product training, and can help find the best solution for every project. With the buying power of six national groups, the company also offers competitive pricing.

Story by: Trendsideas

28 Jun, 2014

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