One of our most constant and reliable builders have owned this family property for many years on Dangar Island on the northern beaches of Sydney. The original cottage has many fond family memories of long summer holidays spent on an island free of all vehicles. The extended family has all grown up, with a new generation of young children in place. We were so honoured to design a brand new home with the flexibility of accommodating several families at one time. We were so conscious of having the opportunity of creating the physical container or backdrop for new memories of family holiday gatherings for the next generation. The home is occupied year round by the matriarch of the family.


Conceptually the T shaped plan provides a flexible sleeping wing running across the length of the property. Bedrooms are large enough to accommodate several bunk beads, and the bathrooms are designed for multiple use at one time, with separate shower/ toilet enclosures and common washbasin areas open to the passageway.


The public living areas are accommodated in in a wing at right angles to this. This allowed for these spaces to have both a visual and physical connection to the water at the front, and the leafy garden at the rear. This wing is further enhanced with roofed decks accessed via generous wide operable door openings in both orientations. These create additional outdoor rooms which double the living space for the summer months when many guests arrive. The two wings also provide more shelter and definition to the rear garden.


Architecturally, we took our cues from the neighbouring modest cottages, with the aim to create a contemporary take on a beach cottage. A brick base elevates the house off the ground, and the exterior walls are clad in the ubiquitous painted timber boarding.  We selected the sturdy and popular corrugated iron for the roof. The traditional pitched roof form has been reinterpreted into a more contemporary language. It is visually separated from the timber clad walls with a smooth rendered cladding, creating an almost tent-like roof that hovers over the sheltering walls. Angled gables over-sail these walls to provide additional shelter and shading.


The usual challenge of accessing building materials to the site on a vehicle free island was a no brainer for the builders, who also specialize in maritime construction work. They transported all the materials to the site on their own barge. It was an incredibly unique and enjoyable experience for the office to attend site meetings via a water-taxi!


Michael Folk Architects & Interiors. Proudly created with Wix.com