Our design response for this Coogee beach house was to detach the housing module from the row of townhouses and push it to the street boundary.
This move allowed us to create a private cloistered courtyard garden space, defined by steel portal frames and planting trellises, that make this space an integral part of the dwelling.
The internal planning inverts traditional spatial arrangements, favouring the placement of the open living/kitchen space on the upper level to integrate ocean views into everyday living whilst providing a generous connection to the courtyard.
Circulation through the house is fluid around the central cabinetry core, and floor to ceiling glazing on the north and west facade give the house a very generous sense of space and light.
This bold contemporary home perches high above the Yarra River at North Warrandyte on a raised plateau nestled amongst dense native bushland.
Restricted access, treacherous topography and environmental and bushfire overlays were challenges overcome during the process to resolve a monumental form and ambitious structure. View corridors and solar orientation directly influenced the building’s position and arrangement.
Twin butterfly roofs were developed to enable sailing eaves to frame views of the tree canopy and sky and allow sunlight to illuminate interior spaces via high level glazing. A split form allows two ‘wings’ of the dwelling to be sited independently so that views, privacy and outdoor access can be enjoyed unimpeded.
Combining stone and timber with contemporary construction materials including glass and steel the dwelling takes its cues from the material character of the rocky and forested surrounds. Naturally finished stone walls bring tactility and warmth to the interior and allow the exterior of the building to gently recede into the bushland setting.
Alexandra established her practice, Alexandra Buchanan Architecture, in Melbourne in 2011. Engaged in projects large and small, the studio has a particular specialty in housing and projects that engage the community.
Alexandra is a design-led architect registered in both Australia and the United Kingdom, with experience ranging from public buildings, mixed use development, master-planning, bespoke residential and hospitality.
Alexandra has contributed to the Australian Institute of Architects in Queensland as a Small Practice Forum member, panel member and state awards juror.
Her founding belief is that the architectural journey should be collaborative, dynamic and enjoyable. Her approach to lifestyle design incorporates a respectful use of materials, passive design, and manipulation of light.
Graduating from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne in 2001 as one of Building Design Magazine’s Top 100 Students. She now leads a dynamic and talented team that is committed to solving the brief, meeting the budget and managing the ongoing challenges that a site and its context present.
Alexandra takes great pride in the design delivery of projects that consistently exceed expectations. more