The Pacific Road House family getaway in Sydney

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The Pacific Road House is a beautiful cottage situated in Sydney, Australia, designed by Tanner Kibble Denton Architects. The owner sought to create a family compound to bring an extended family together for weekends and holiday retreats. The original sandstone cottage on site was to be renewed and extended to include contemporary facilities with a new pavilion added amongst the ancient angophoras to accommodate adult children and their growing families. Privacy was paramount and communal private outdoor space needed to be provided for family life whilst maximizing the access to the wonderful northern views along Palm Beach to Barrenjoey Head.

The site offered wonderful inspiration for the development of the approach taken to realize the project. Being somewhat rare for Palm Beach, given it is relatively flat; the site is blessed with a stand of mature angophoras. A strong desire from all parties to retain all trees dictated a more restricted site within the larger plot. Out of this restriction a curved-ended form for the pavilion developed, along with a sinuous covered walkway link that weaves between the trees, its form related to their curves.

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The separation of the new pavilion from the existing cottage allowed a certain freedom in the design. Here the opportunity was taken to install a solid curved timber form that one views through the trees, capped with a floating roof to give the building a transparency at canopy level. This roof feathers at the edges, lightening the form yet providing a strong juxtaposition between built and natural elements.

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The striking form of the new pavilion, its crisp roof and airy covered walkway are key elements in this design. The way in which the form has been made and linked to the existing cottage provides dynamic light filled interior and exterior spaces, and that much sought after secure private space at the heart of the site. Key to the success of the project is the walkway and associated earth rendered walls, which defines the private realm and provides the owners with a wonderful way to occupy this site.

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The new forms are clad in vertical Western Red Cedar boards that have been UV stabilized and will be left to grey off to the same color as the surrounding tree trunks. Sandstone from the site is used extensively in walls, with earth rendered walls employed as linking elements. The use of these materials on curved walls allows the material to read in varying light, enriching the composition.

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Photos: Michael Nicholson

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