Balmoral House

The existing house is located on one of the prime sites in Balmoral, the end house at the southern end of the beach, facing north, and the distant view of Balmoral augmented by the sub-tropical rainforest immediately adjacent. A family have occupied this house for 10 years, but are finding that it fails to address the pragmatic requirements for a family with two growing children. Furthermore, the overall arrangement of the house - constructed at the turn of the century - is not consistent with contemporary lifestyle expectations and fails in basic planning terms, with few of its small cellular rooms oriented to the bush or beach outlook. However, the overall character and materiality of the house perfectly suits the family, their furniture and artwork and is something we would be reluctant to change.

The solution consists of two parts. Firstly, a series of selective demolitions open the existing house both to the view and within to create a series of interlinked living spaces. The existing envelope is then completed with a series of repairs, doors and windows that are treated in a delicate way to complement the existing building. Secondly, a new roof level is created containing bedrooms and an additional living space. The geometry of the new roof element is based around a diagonal ridge line that orients all spaces to the view while achieving lower heights at the eaves line to maintain the view corridor of the adjacent house. Punctuations in the roof let light into internal bathrooms and over the stair. The "panelbeaten" quality of this new roof element is both an attempt at creating a new roof form that maintains a synergy with the existing house and a continuation of the practice's investigations of this formal type in a series of landscape-based housing and public building projects.