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Couran Cove House
by Arkhefield



Conceptual Framework The core drivers behind the build were maximizing space and privacy, sheltering from the predominant southeasterly wind/weather front and creating a simple, low maintenance, sustainable living volume which could be enjoyed all year round. The isolation of the site and the harsh climatic conditions on the island are evident in the simplicity of the structure, the choice of basic, low maintenance materials and in the ability which the house is able to isolate, reorientate and shut down against the elements. Public Benefits The house offers a stark contrast to the predominantly lowest shacks by the way that it expresses and celebrates volume, simplicity of form and its ability to manage/manipulate the external environment. The house appears to be inspirational amongst the community with many new houses currently under construction on the island being designed and sited in a similar manner. Relationship of Built form to Context. The house is a simple extruded profile with its form being solely dictated by town planning constraints. Height, setback and roof pitch essentially created the volumetric section which was extruded to the road and waterfront boundary setback to maximize the enclosed space. The house breaks out onto the terraced waterfront on the east, to an enclosed "winter courtyard" on the west and closes down to the north and south to retain privacy from the adjacent blocks. Program Resolution The house is split in half down the centre of its length with a large double volume

“communal” living space on the north and a 2 level “private” core, comprising of bedrooms and service zones, on the south. The volumetric interplay between the two halves of the house creates a sense of inclusion and encourages interaction between family and guests whilst still enabling privacy and seclusion. Integration of Allied Disciplines The build required very little input from consultants. Cost/ Value The isolation of the site put a premium on the construction cost as all materials and skilled labor had to be barged out to the island. Sustainability ESD principles of orientation and sitting along with use of solar, gas, rainwater harvesting, bamboo cladding/screening and a thermally efficient monolithic floor slab were all core ideas behind the build. Response to Client and User Needs Our clients desire to recreate a “Bahaman” styled beach cottage with shingled pitched roofs and quaint shuttered windows made for a challenging brief. They wanted the house to take them back to the memorable vacations they had spent in exotic locations. Through exploration and development it became evident that decoration and themed architecture may enable brief relapses into the bygone but that intelligent design and the creation of flexible spaces stimulated communal interaction which was what really recreated that relaxed holiday atmosphere they were seeking. They are extremely happy and are enjoying there “Contemporary Bahaman” cottage which they have aptly named “the shed” out on Stradbrooke Island.

South Stradbrooke Island, QLD
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.Project Team
Project architect: Simon Wynn
Design architect: Simon Wynn
Structural consultant: McVeigh Consulting Engineers
Hydraulic consultant: BRW Enterprises
Landscape consultant: JW Concepts
Interior designer: Arkhefield
Lighting consultant: Arkhefield
Builder: Clarke Construction
Director: Andrew Gutteridge
Project Team: Justin Boland
Project Team: Julie Tomaszewski
Structural and Frame: Steel House Frames Australia
Photographer: Aperture Architectural Photography
Building surveyor: Bennett & Francis

Photographs by Aperture Architectural Photography, text by Arkhefield

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects