What's more important, connection to a lush bush setting or an internal courtyard? This home offers both

This modern U-shaped home engages its verdant surroundings, while a sheltered central courtyard provides relaxed outdoor living and degrees of separation for the interior spaces

Designed by Mark McLeay, Creative Arch

From the designer:

This new home in Campbell’s Bay is built in front of a natural creek, framed by native bush. 

Exterior materials were carefully selected to allow the home to settle gently into the tranquil native bush surroundings, while the use of timber features across the interior spaces speaks to the outside environment. 

To the exterior, soft grey vertical cedar contrasts with a light clay-toned brick cladding, and is grounded by dark plaster render.

The home is designed in a U shaped floor plan around an open central courtyard, allowing natural light to permeate the spaces while centering family living on the outdoor space.

Complete privacy from the street is achieved by the stepping down of the ground level, creating a sense of peaceful retreat. This sense is further reinforced in the outdoor room off the main living room. The outdoor room hovers amongst the treetops and is sheltered from weather and neighbours. Garaging is located under the living areas.

An array of indoor and outdoor living spaces to the ground floor provide room for comfortable living year-round, while bedrooms and office space are allocated to the first floor. 

Multiple voids to the hallway create a sense of height in the upper level, with vertical timber screening continuing into the interior stairwell and a feature timber ceiling wrapping down into the dining space from above.

The decision was made to celebrate the existing bush, drawing focus to the surrounding vegetation. 

A neighbour close to the northern boundary required some decisions to maximise northern light while minimising overlooking. 

The main living spaces face the stream and densest area of riparian bush, also screening outlook to the rear property.

The design brief involved creating separated living areas, and media/family rooms. 

The ground floor has these space apportioned to wings on opposing sides, maximising distance to create privacy and peace. 

The main deck is sheltered by wrapping timber screens above, facing towards the dense riparian bush, creating the illusion that the property boundary disappears into the vegetation. 

The deck and main living space sit above the ground level in the midst of the tree canopies, placing the occupant amongst the leaves, the breeze and the birds.

Moving through the house towards the street, the treehouse-like atmosphere of the main living spaces opens outwards to the kitchen, looking towards the level-entry into the central courtyard, and a view of the rest of the house. 

From here, the exterior of the family/media room can be seen across the courtyard, located in a separate wing to provide space and peace for all occupants of the home and their varying activities.

Credit list

Kitchen designer and interior designer
Bonham Architecture & Interiors
Metalcraft MC760
Main flooring
American Oak timber planking, by Floorex
Wilton Joubert
Don Walker Building
Cedar shiplap by Herman Pacific; La Paloma brick by Austral Bricks
Window/door joinery
APL Metro Series
Bathrooms – The Tile People; master ensuite – Tile Warehouse
Coombes & Gabbie

Designed by: Creative Arch

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Andy Chui, Drawphoto

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