Wamberal Beach House


2003 Winner Best Residential House Australian Timber Design Awards

2003 Winner Best Use of Timber Engineering Australian Timber Design Awards

2003 Winner Best Use of Timber Flooring Australian Timber Design Awards


This house represents a strong and simple poetic about how one should build on the frontal coastal dune that is sometimes spectacularly beautiful, but can also be extremely dangerous and destructive.

This house designed some 22 years ago by myself and Peter Ireland in association was awarded the Best Class 1A house in the 2002 Australian Timber Design Awards. The design responds directly to it’s powerful context with ingenuity in structural design, siting and planning and has recently undergone extensive renovation and renewal by my office.

Sited behind the frontal dune the main living platform is suspended on an elegant cantilevered and suspended structure. Although largely invisible it allows the buildings support structure to be distant from the dynamic and vulnerable dune. This platform supported on deep concrete piers that reach deep into stable substrate and contains all the key functions of the house in a compact ‘H’ plan. The kitchen and vertical circulation at the core, bedrooms and bathroom concentrated to the west, and living spaces to the east. Decks are cut into the plan on the North and South to provide protected and sheltered outdoor spaces, while also allowing transparency through the building to the ocean views.

The roof lifts from a compressed point over the kitchen and central stair to embrace the ocean to the east and the coastal escarpment to the west. A curved timber ceiling encapsulates and protects the interior, like the inside of a seed pod. When open the ceiling floats above you providing the feeling of being simultaneously inside and outside  with the light and breezes varying throughout the day.

Recently this house has undergone a significant upgrade and renovation which can be viewed here