PALM BEACH HOUSE
The steep north facing property is positioned at the crest of a hill, with diagonal north-eastern views to the ocean. Four north-facing platforms utilise the site’s natural slope in a stepped cross section.
Expressed eaves create a horizontal reading, to counteract the four-story height. This horizontality also provides effective shading and outdoor living platforms.
The multiple platforms respond to both the site and programmatic requirements. All living and sleeping accommodation is located to the northern edge, with services behind to the south.
The entry level contains garaging, storage, entry and a media room, with a central vertical circulation spine connecting all levels. The second platform houses the laundry and children’s’/guest accommodation. The third open-plan public living pavilion orientates diagonally to the north-eastern ocean view, with limited eastern fenestration to screen the adjacent neighbour. Part of the site was levelled to create a level link to the plunge pool from the public living spaces. The parent’s retreat at
the top completes the composition.
Each elongated platform optimises access to the sun and views. The stepping in plan further emphasises the eastern diagonal ocean view. A variety of glazing, ranging from large glass openings, to high and low level slots articulates the facade, while playfully engaging with the views.
The residence is a combination of masonry load bearing structure with steel and lightweight infill. The floors are cast concrete, with concrete slab roofs and metal decking.
The challenging hydraulic component collects roof water from each level down to the rainwater tanks
for garden use. The considered design of windows and ventilation minimises the need for artificial heating
& cooling, with a reverse cycle system and some ceiling fans used only in extreme conditions. Natural light floods the house, with night time lighting a combination of low voltage, fluorescent, incandescent and L.E.D.
The landscaping is simple, with limited retaining walls, retaining the natural slope of the land which
has been planted with native grasses and shrubs.