Rational ascent

Rational ascent


Owen and Vokes were asked to enlarge a beautiful Point Perry home; the result is a simple and refined structure that seems to stride up the steep terrain.

home renovations 

Designed in the 1990s by architect Lindsay Clare, this home needed nothing more than minor tweaks and some additional space for the owners to spread out and enjoy the tranquillity of its location. Panoramic views of Point Perry were already well-captured, and Brian and Margot Jewell wanted to preserve the character of the original architecture in their proposed extension.

The brief also included desires to accommodate their cars, to construct a self-contained flat in an existing “downstairs room”, and to find the best site for two additional bedrooms and bathrooms. At street level, a garage was embedded into the hillside to avoid a steep, unsafe driveway. The bonus of that, points out Stuart Vokes (principal at Owen and Vokes) is “the roof of the garage reclaims space for a garden that is overlooked from the living spaces and decks above”.

From street level, steps climb through the garden to the side of the house. A small courtyard on the first level greets guests of the newly fitted self-contained flat. Within the compact space, a kitchenette was added and the bathroom renovated. New openings were strategically cut into the existing walls to allow light in and provide an ambient room for guests to stay during holiday periods.

One floor up, accessed by another flight of garden-meandering stairs, the main entry is a large glass expanse. It has been re-positioned at the back of the house and the surrounding site was excavated to create an entry terrace. A rendered masonry wall that frames the area is designed to provide terraces for planting and doubles as the complying pool fence. Upon entering the house, your attention is drawn straight through to the expansive decking and breathtaking views.

The deck wraps around the corner of the house and enters again through a sitting room, which has replaced the original kitchen. The new room relishes the view and a telescope in the corner hints at the fact the residents do too. The kitchen was moved towards the back of the house (alongside the entry) in order to make best use of a low bulkhead. Its linear form is highlighted by a sharply cornered solid bench, horizontal white tiles on the back wall, and the visual frame created from the white bulkhead wall, which stretches almost double height to the level above. The kitchen’s narrow dimensions are echoed by a long, elegant dining setting and overhead windows that channel the coastal sunshine indoors. The major challenge for the architects came from council restrictions.

According to Stuart Vokes, “The local council height controls and the agenda to preserve the remnant vegetation on the site resulted in a tight building envelope. As a consequence, the extension is kept as narrow as possible, bridging over the existing pool so as to preserve as much open space as possible.” The comfort of the classic Sunshine Coast beach house has been retained, yet Owen and Vokes injected a hint of resort-style living to the new fourth level.

Another flight of stairs ascends from the existing third-floor living room and the new bedrooms are accessed via a verandah that traverses the pool area. A series of solid timber, glassless windows open the verandah passageway to the elements and provide a powerful connection to the natural surrounds. “The wide openings from the bedroom to the verandah are screened by a timber-framed sliding door with insect mesh and can be completely closed with a solid timber sliding door,” clarifies Stuart. “It provides the residents with so much freedom to live a life of fluidity, with plenty of air and light circulating through the three main living levels, yet also allowing the flexibility of privacy if they feel like retreating from the world.”

The interesting topography of the site certainly determined the direction of the architecture, as the house appears to climb the hillside. Yet internally a meandering path has been determined for the Jewells, to prevent it from seeming like a tedious climb. Stairs bring you towards and away from the view and break in small clusters, only to take up again elsewhere. Every inch has maximised the location and available light, but the outcome is something best summed up by the architects themselves. “Manipulation of the existing, built and natural topography establishes new connections between living spaces and the garden. Masonry elements manage levels across the site, forming new landscape spaces and embedding the fibroclad extension into the hillside.”

Photography by Jon Linkins 

Project Particulars
Designed by: OWEN AND VOKES
Level 3, 119 Melbourne Street South Brisbane Qld 4101
07 3846 2044

0408 713 795

Kitchen/Dining/Living: Existing tallowwood timber floors
New Bedrooms: Tallowwood timber floors to match existing
Verandah in new extension: Tallowwood decking
Stair: New stair from level 3 to extension: Tallowwood decking
Outdoor: Bathroom floor tile — Winckelmans 50x50mm fully vitrified floor tile in grey
Other: Concrete to landscape stairs, entry courtyard and pool surround

Interior: White-painted plasterboard
Verandah: Exposed timber wall studs painted black
Exterior existing house: Fibre cement cladding with timber cover strips
Garage: Timber-board formed concrete
Masonry walls: Concrete block work with “wet dash” cement render

Benchtop: 20mm-thick reconstituted stone, Quarella Blanco Paloma
Splashback: 100x200mm gloss-white tile laid in horizontal stretcher bond pattern
Cabinetry: Sen Ash timber veneer

Sanitary fixtures + bathroom fittings:
Duravit Scola wall-mounted basin, Park mixers from Ram Tapware, custom-made clear-finished timber towel rails

Windows + external doors:
New timber doors and windows from Allkind Joinery, aluminium-framed windows from GJames