This project includes an upper level addition to a 1980’s clinker brick project home overlooking Copacabana Beach on the Central Coast. The project embraces its suburban context and provides a model for contemporary and sustainable reuse for these outdated buildings. The new upper level embraces the suburban character of the existing structure and includes new living spaces, bedroom and deck taking advantage of the southerly views from the elevated site which is nestled high in the saddle between the Copacabana and Bouddi National Park headlands. This upper level offer independent living level for the owners while the lower level can accommodate extended family during the peak holiday periods. The elongated form of new upper level living area mirrors the form and sense of enclosure of the surrounding headlands, providing light and privacy from the street to the north and a platform from which to enjoythe view to the south. Low walls and solid balustrades capture the ocean view in a protective yet dramatic way and screen out neighbouring buildings. Coloured fins within the ceiling plane are lit by skylights which provide soft lighting to the central stair and to the projecting deck to the east and make reference classic beach holiday house style. A stair is inserted into the ground floor and this provides a central core for the upper level rooms to be planned in a pinwheel arrangement. Lines of axis within the plan have been distorted to maximise the perception of space and yield to the view. The upper level balances the sense of openness to the balcony and the view to the south and the sense of light and privacy from the north.
A sweeping pergola, which will eventually be covered with vines, provides a green horizontal border between the existing house and the new upper level. This replaces an existing garage structure and links the car port to the entry patio via new landscaped steps constructed in salvaged railway sleepers and bricks. A dense pattern of timber battens provide an asymmetrical bay to streetscape as a contemporary response in kin to the suburban context. Straight forward construction techniques, economical, environmentally sustainable and low maintenance building materials have been used for the new work. The upper level is clad in clear finished fibre cement sheeting with vertical western red cedar cover battens which have been left unfinished and will weather to grey forming a uniform patterning to the facade. The project acknowledges the embodied energy within the existing structure and retains as much of this fabric as possible in order to minimise materials required for the new work. Passive environmental design principals of orientation, daylight and cross ventilation underpin the design. Skylights incorporated within the roof allow natural daylight into the centre of the plan. The site has been revegetated with native, low water use planting. Active systems have also incorporated into the works including a 2 kW photovoltaic system and a 6100 L rain water tank supplying toilets, washing machine and taps.
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