Perched atop the edge of a cliff in South Coogee, Seaside occupies a dream coastline position. With a unique architectural opportunity to provide our clients with undisturbed, never-to-be-built-out views of the ocean from all levels, we knew from the outset that this home’s design had to prioritise openness, along with functional solidity. Responding to the present and future needs of its residents, our design is robust in protecting the home from harsh exposure to the elements, as well as ensuring that the structure harmonises with the spectacular coastal escarpment.

Our client’s appreciation for the robustness of ancient Greek structures has informed our design philosophy for their home, opting for materiality and construction methodologies which ensure the building can withstand and capitalise upon the elemental changeability of the sea waters below. Drawing upon concrete, sandstone and brick throughout the exterior in predominately warm, beige tones creates an impression that the home is carved out of the sandstone cliff face, while embodying it with the rock-like endurance it requires to stand unbothered by the environmental harshness of the site. The incorporation of marine grade stainless steel metalwork also imbues the home with structural soundness, necessary for its positioning.

 At street level, the house appears to be only two storeys, with bi-folding screens on bedroom windows protecting internal privacy. The façade height gives no indication that there is a three-storey drop down the cliff face, ensuring the residence contains maximum opportunities for recreation and amenity. Using each floor for a specific seasonal purpose, the home allows for winter to be spent predominately on the upper levels, protected from the crashing waves and harsh sea winds; while opening up to the ocean air on the bottom two levels in summer. Below the pool, which appears to float above the cliff, is a quaint timber deck, built specifically for ocean fishing in the warm weather.

Location Coogee Year 2020Credits Photography Tom Ferguson, Interiors Lawless & Meyerson

In the spirit of reconciliation MHNDU acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community.
We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.