Calling all beach lovers… This house is for you! Overlooking the Great Mackerel Beach in Sydney, the Hart House designed by Casey Brown Architecture was conceived as a contemporary interpretation of the quintessential one-room Australian beach shack. Nestled between an idyllic shoreline and a cliff, the structure is sited on a steep slope, orientated facing north-easterly across Pittwater towards spectacular Barrenjoey Headland. The brief for the house was simple, a shack on the beach with a kitchen, living, bedroom and bathroom taking advantage of the location.
“The main single ‘room’ of the house is the double height dining, kitchen and living space, which has a utility pod within it, containing the bathroom and pantry, and housing a loft mezzanine space above. The generous heights give a feel of openness and airiness which embraces the views of ocean and sky. Directly below the living space is the master bedroom, which opens onto a sandstone terrace constructed from stone from the site. Small openings to the sides of the house puncture through the corrugated aluminium shell, allowing for cross ventilation to all spaces. Highlight windows to the rear of the dining area afford views towards the cliff and bush landscape.” – Casey Brown Architecture
Protected by a corrugated aluminum shell from three sides — only one side of the box is left fully open facing towards the sun and the view, the shell protects the house from the harsh salt environment, cold winter southerly winds and bushfire prone landscape. Being situated on a slope, the steepness of the site gives rise to the illusion from the living space that the house is floating directly above the water.
The Hart House has a package of a perfectly-built beach home, designed to shift your senses with breathtaking views. A contemporary mix of timber, concrete, sandstone, and aluminum gives this architectural masterpiece the advantage of looking effortless amongst the steep slope while creating an impression of modernity with the surrounding details. The house captures a magnificent view of the beach, giving the much-coveted luxury of waking up close to the sound of the waves and reveling in a play of colours of the sun. It creates an unforgettable shack highly suited to the unique opportunities and constraints of the site.
“While modest in size, the interior is rich in materiality – the philosophy of ‘less, but better quality’. The tactile quality of the materials used resonated with the artistic bent of the owners of the house; one of whom is a ceramicist. The spaces are lined in birch plywood, with timber flooring and concrete benches completing the rugged and durable interior. Spotted gum is used extensively both internally and externally – as flooring, decking and to construct the doors and windows. It was selected due to its sustainability credentials and inherent bushfire resistance. “ – Casey Brown Architecture
Hart House by Casey Brown Architecture is a perfect reminder of life’s true pleasantries – that no matter how much we move forward into modern times, simple joys remain in the humble, earthly places. Nothing, fancy. Just a real good nature play.
House Project: Hart House
Architect: Casey Brown Architecture
Location: Sydney, Australia
Type: New Build
Photographer: Rhys Holland