Architects: CplusC Architectural Workshop
Project: North Bondi House
Location: North Bondi, NSW, Australia
Architects in Charge: Clinton Cole, Ryan Ng
Area: 344.0 m2
Photography: Michael Lassman, Murray Fredericks and Jem Cresswell
North Bondi House is a stunning single-family residence which is both a springboard for entertaining and a private family retreat. A narrow site with overlooking issues paired with a commitment to passive solar design and natural daylighting drove much of the resulting form. Due to the nature of the site, planning and time management was crucial in ensuring the project ran smoothly.
Conceptually, the spatial planning of the house separates the social and family spaces. Downstairs, the interconnected kitchen, living, dining and outdoor spaces create a highly interactive and engaged site designed to accommodate large groups. A unique above ground lap-pool that shares a clear wall with the social spaces acts as a visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces, refracting natural light throughout the house.
The pool was originally designed as a fully concrete structure and was adjusted to incorporate the striking acrylic wall after construction had commenced. A wide range of trades were involved in delivering the pool, including interstate specialist sub-contractors. The acrylic wall required that waterproofing was discretely integrated with the panels and structural columns to provide a smooth visual effect. This required a high degree of co-ordination and negotiation to bring together, as the tolerances were very tight.
Upstairs, the bedrooms overlook private green space in the form of either a yard or vertical garden. The feature screens and custom planter beds ensure privacy from neighbours and pedestrian traffic, and are fully plumbed, self-maintained and LED lit. This project marked the first time the firm had used FRP screens as a facade material, and a certain amount of on-site experimentation was required to determine the best method of assembly and fixing.
The panels required a high level of preparation prior to installation, pre-drilling the holes to fix the custom FRP panels from the side with dual threaded screws. Coordination of the plumbing, lighting and landscaping was crucial for delivering this intricate system. In addition to resolving privacy issues, these planter screens enable additional landscaping possibilities on a narrow site.
Home Automation System
The home automation system incorporates a fully programmable Dali and Cbus system. The client is able to select from a wide range of pre-programmed lighting and audio settings, as well as set up their own custom ‘scenes’ to be operated with a single touch. It is also possible to activate fixtures remotely.
The craftsmanship of the build is elegantly revealed in the material palette, which includes unfinished Kobe boards, burnished concrete, expressed timber, Corten facade and steel and timber columns that celebrate the structural systems in the house. The decision to leave the materials exposed significantly increased the complexity of the build, as any flaws or short cuts in construction would be visible in the finished structure. Additionally, the primary timber/steel flitch structure that is expressed both inside and out resulted in extremely limited tolerances for cladding, lining and window installations, further adding to the construction challenge.