Houses We Love: Every day we feature a remarkable space submitted by our community of architects, designers, builders, and homeowners. Have a project to share? Post it here.
Location: Sydney, Australia
Footprint: 1,013 square feet
From the Architect: “Balmy Palmy House celebrates the pleasures of modesty and the simple life. Firmly planted on a steep and rocky slope, this intimate little Palm Beach home suspends you in a bushland canopy. Immersed in sunshine, leaves, breezes, and birdlife, the relaxed holiday home invites you to recharge.
“CplusC was created a modest home in Sydney’s Palm Beach for a semiretired couple, their three teenage children, and friends. After 20 years away from their home of Sydney, the clients wanted to embrace the local landscape on their bushland site. They envisioned a modest, compact home that blends with the surrounding trees and where they could recharge in the canopy among sunlight, foliage, and birdsong. With a tight budget, the proposed construction system needed to be quick to assemble and repetitive in nature to minimize supervisor site visits, requests for information (RFIs) to the architectural team, and onsite labor costs. The house also needed to be easy to maintain. Having worked with us before on their Iron Maiden House, the clients were extremely open minded and trusted us deeply to design and build their home.
“There’s always a temptation at such a scenic site to build something monumental to guzzle up the views, often requiring tree lopping, excavation, rock sawing, and extensive retaining wall construction. In this case, the vision was to keep the house modest, unassuming, and receptive to its environment—a place to get away and engage with the landscape, native flora and fauna, the sky, and the ocean. Achieving this within the tight budget on the steep, rocky bushland site would require innovative construction methods to reduce complexity, construction time, and the need for regular site visits.
“CplusC proposed a simple timber structure floating above the steep land. Oversized hardwood timber columns and beams contrast the thin, lightweight roof and stilt legs. Extensive outdoor decking connects all the spaces of the home and the different areas for sitting, relaxing, and gathering. People can lie suspended in the treetops and drink in the canopy from a cargo net bay.
“The home is humble in scale, celebrating a simple way of life immersed in the view and the natural surrounds,” says Clinton Cole, director at CplusC. “The design was all about firmly planting the home in the canopies.”