Yandina Sunrise is conceived as a small scale two-bedroom home for a Pilates practitioner in the woods of Australia’s Sunshine Coast hinterland. The client likes to climb up to an existing clearing on the hillside of the 35-acre site where the new house is currently positioned, affording distant views of Mt Ninderry towards the East. The client’s family owned tomato greenhouse farm and its vast rippling vaulted roofs on an open field are seen in the middle ground. A natural view corridor towards the North offers an outlook of the undulating hinterland of Yandina and beyond.
The design references the relationship between the manmade structure and the natural landscape, referencing elementary forms and ubiquitous building materials often found in agricultural buildings. The house is conceived as an oblique prism with its geometry skewed in response to view corridors. Taking cues from the juxtaposing qualities of the family farm’s simplicity and presence amongst its setting, the monolithic white folding planes of the house creates deep recesses where shadow resides. The shadow casting throughout the day allows for a constant moving façade composition, amplifying the sculptural quality of the dwelling. Corrugated cladding transitions from solid to perforated, creating playful filtered light and permeability to external spaces. The selection of economical and utilitarian material such as corrugated metal cladding adds to a textural response, its white undulating profile resonating with the vaulted form of the family farm structure.
It is important for the client to maintain connections with the family farm and the surrounding landscape where these site-specific conditions established the key parameters in the strategic planning. Anchored by terraced concrete platforms, an interior terrain has been created in response to the sloping land. Living, cooking and dining occupy the lower platform with a lofty 3m ceiling height, creating an elongated space that puncture through the house to frame the Northern hinterland. Amenities and sleeping quarters inhabit the upper platform with a more intimate 2.4m ceiling height. One of the client’s brief was to see the sunrise from the bedroom, to appreciate this peaceful moment of the day. The idea of borrowed scenery prompted the use of an operable wall that opens up to overlook into and across the living space towards the East with the family farm and Mt Ninderry in view. In essence, the interior volumes and its openings are conceived as a series of inhabited apertures carefully edited and proportioned to heighten one’s experience of the site.
The restraint material palette continues internally, neutral white surfaces animate changing light conditions permeated by the bush land. The kitchen has a pale pink nougat-like terrazzo benchtop, paired with a blonde/pink Vic Ash timber joinery to make for an appetising space for cooking. The lightness of the Vic Ash timber highlights view apertures, while the limestone floor marking adds a layer of tactility, complementing the polished concrete floor to subtly delineate space.
The project focuses on what is essential to elevate one’s quality of life in a compact footprint, enriched by meaningful connections to moments in time and place.