Kiama House

South Coast, Sydney, NSW, Australia

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Designed as the main residence on a 20 hectare stud farm, the project comprises a series of pavilions located within the coastal landscape of the Illawarra. The house has been sited high on a cleared, gently sloping North East facing hillside, taking advantage of solar access, cross ventilation and the extensive panoramic views across rolling hills to the ocean beyond.

Embracing its environs The house is arranged around a sequence of pavilions and connecting elements, its built form creating outdoor courtyards within the subsequent pockets of ‘negative’ space. These courtyards of varying sizes, orientations and levels of intimacy provide protection from the elements, which are particularly harsh on the house’s exposed hilltop context.

A curved stone circulation spine is the predominant organising element, referencing the old Cornish walls that are scattered across the property and the Kiama mountainside. Three zinc clad and timber lined pavilions radiate from this spine, housing the living areas, master bedroom suite and guest accommodation. A southern wing houses the garage and a dramatic Japanese-inspired pool pavilion, with a steam room and gym.

Bucolic and beautiful The main entrance to the house is along a stone bridge over a lily reflection pond between the main house and the pool pavilion, with framed views east of the ocean and the stunning fig trees on the site. It is not until you move further into the house, to the dramatic main living space, where the panoramic views fully expand to Kiama and the ocean beyond. Connection from the main house to the pool pavilion is via a glazed bridge link which hovers over the reflection pond on the west and the outdoor pool to the east.

The roof elements, whilst subtly recalling traditional farmhouses, create a hierarchy of spaces throughout the house. Dramatic high ceilings define the main pavilion spaces, beneath striking sculptural roof forms. In contrast, a lower ceiling under the concrete roof marks the circulation and secondary ancillary spaces of the spine.

Coastal sustainability With no access to town water, the house has been designed to harvest, conserve and recycle water. Heating and cooling is efficiently achieved using thermal mass, cross ventilation, evacuated solar tubes, and hydronic under floor heating, to relieve the environmental and long-term impacts of the dwelling.

Natural materials were selected to give the house a robust rural character. Timber, stone and zinc are the three primary materials. The drystone walls are built of locally sourced stone and installed by local stonemasons.

  • Date
  • Client
  • GFA
    690 m²
  • Site
    Approx 20 hectares

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