The Australian practice Choi Ropiha Fighera has realised this two-storey retreat house located in a tranquil suburban area of North Narrabeen, New South Wales, Australia. Although not immediately visible, the 300-square-meters structure encompasses two-storeys and a pool situated in the Narrabeen Lagoon-facing courtyard.
About the project:
‘The Narrabeen House is located on the edge of Narrabeen Lagoon and is fortunate to have outlook across water to an untouched island dense with casuarinas. By contrast, the street context is unremarkable without the slightest hint of the lagoon beyond the houses lining the street and manages to give the impression of being deep in suburbia.
‘From the street, the house’s composition is built around the entrance, driveway and garage like any typical suburban house however the impact of these domestic elements is diffused by melding them into a singular architectural expression and form. The broad facade combined with the floating skirt detail give the house a horizontal proportion and even though the dark timber cladding gives the building a ‘stealth’ like appearance, it still withholds the drama of the lagoon beyond.’
‘The house also has an unusual sectional arrangement driven partly by the requirement to elevate the interior 1.2m above ground level to safeguard against flooding but also by the desire to have open plan spaces with dual aspect – north for sun and south for the view. Whilst this introduces issues with the scale relationship of the house to its neighbours, it enables a more interesting multi- level relationship between interior and exterior living spaces to occur.’