Sitting comfortably on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Breezeway House is not only the much-loved holiday home of a Sydney family, but also an award-winning structure that marries the rigour of building with the poetics of architecture.
Designed by architect David Boyle, Breezeway House has won multiple awards this year, including the Award for Residential Architecture - Houses (New) at the NSW AIA (Australian Institute of Architects) Architecture Awards.
According to Boyle, the house provides a joyous and engaging destination for holidays by the beach, where shelter, shade and connection to the landscape have been prioritised.
"Situated on a complicated subdivided block with trapezoidal boundaries, cross easements and significant cross-fall, the linear building form is stretched along the southern boundary allowing a series of gardens to buffer neighbouring buildings as well as moderate visibility of the house from the street," he says.
Within the house, a timber lined breezeway runs the full length of the building. It provides a dynamic, flexible space for the movement of air, people, and light.
Boyle says preference was given to materials that are natural, sustainable, robust and playful, emphasising patterns and texture that can be discovered over time.
"Materials are natural and robust, where the hand and craft of the maker is obvious throughout the structure and detailing of the house," he says. "The rhythm of the structural grid provides an expressive logic to the spatial arrangement."
Boyle also points out that the angular geometry is explored at both a macro and micro level. Steel posts between suspended concrete slabs are concealed, braced by infill brickwork, and clad externally and internally within a breezeway with charred tongue and groove timber.
Within the house, the timber-lined breezeway runs the length of the building, providing a dynamic, flexible space not only for people, but light and the movement of air.
The breezeway helps to thermally regulate the house and provides cross ventilation without compromising privacy. Surface sliding doors, panels and louvres contribute to a spatial ambiguity between the indoors and outdoors.
The breezeway continues through to a balcony among the canopy of fig trees and is supported above the ground by a self-bracing bent steel post. The undercroft area forms a sheltered space for both play and parking.
Aside from access to the beach, the garden room in Breezeway House includes beach amenities sheltered by a recycled brick wall and provides a shower, seating and towel rails.
Upstairs, living, dining and cooking spaces open up to elevated decks and terraces set among tree canopies and lookouts to the beach. Boyle points out that openings have been carefully positioned to screen existing and future neighbours, capture breezes and frame views of the headland. Two master bedrooms and twin interconnected bunk rooms allow for the flexibility of one, two or three family groups to simultaneously occupy the house.
A multi-purpose playroom, generous seating areas, storage areas and numerous outdoor spaces provide plenty of opportunity to retreat or gather.