‘60s Modern’ is a renovation project. It is the upper unit of an original early 80’s duplex building, pinned to a steep hillside site, it overlooks the Gold Coast skyline and Pacific Ocean. The design encompasses the client’s love for 60’s style, decor and art.
Site access was difficult and the logistics of fire separation, town planning conditions and structural requirements provided numerous design and construction challenges.
The goal was to open up the living spaces to the incredible view which had been restricted by a sloping roof and small windows; add a second storey with a master suite and outside entertainment area; and give the home a streetscape presence and arrival experience to replace the carport entry.
The new double height living area and expansive northern window opens up the space and the ocean and skyline views. Articulated with thoughtful glazing and veiled in decorative screening for both sun control and privacy, the facade can be adapted to suit the client’s requirements.
The design resolution has strengthened the connection to the natural environment and greatly improved natural light and cross-ventilation whilst maintaining privacy.
Similarly, the elevated master suite takes in the amazing views. The master suite space is versatile, it can be opened to connect with the lounge retreat, entertainment terrace, and view or be partitioned off as desired.
Previously an open carport marked the home’s address. Now the home has a streetscape presence, an inviting entry and arrival experience and a discreetly enclosed garage with improved functionality.
AIA PROMOTIONAL Project Summary
‘60s Modern’ is a renovation project, it is the upper duplex unit of an original early 80’s duplex building, practically pinned to a steep hillside site, it overlooks the Gold Coast and Pacific Ocean. The design encompasses the client’s love for 60s style, décor and art.
Site access was difficult and the logistics of fire separation, town planning requirements and structural challenges provided numerous design and construction challenges.
The brief was to open up the living spaces to the incredible view which had been restricted by a sloping roof and small windows, add a second storey with a mastersuite and outside entertainment area, and give the home a streetscape presence and arrival experience to replace the carport entry.
The new double height living area and expansive northern window opens up ocean and skyline views. Articulated with thoughtful glazing solutions and veiled in decorative screening for both sun control and privacy, the façade can be adapted to suit the client’s requirements. Connection to the natural environment has been strengthened whilst still maintaining privacy from neighbours.
The elevated mastersuite space is versatile, it can be opened to connect with the entertainment terrace, lounge retreat and view or be partitioned off as desired.
AIA ARCHITECTURAL Project Summary
The core idea was to enhance the client’s lifestyle, to provide greater amenity, connect to the immediate and greater environment, and interweave the client’s love of 60s style, décor and art. The design resolution sought to be responsive to climate, adaptable to client’s needs, appropriate to its context and sensitive to neighbours, simultaneously considering duplex, town planning, structural and access constraints.
Architecturally the project contributes to the public domain on a prominent site visible from Burleigh township, it respects neighbour’s privacy and views and enhances streetscape appeal and neighbourhood presence for greater community benefit. Culturally the design draws inspiration from a 60s aesthetic and the Gold Coast lifestyle culture.
The design performance exceeds client’s expectations of functionality and liveability and the financial investment in the renovation has surpassed property value expectations and improved neighbourhood appeal. Considerations for sustainability include greatly improving natural light, cross-ventilation and thermal comfort to minimise ongoing energy consumption and desire for air-conditioning.
Integration of allied disciplines included developing the concept for a new window system to incorporate laser cut screens into an Aneeta Window system for the first time. This idea required close consultation, support and development with Aneeta Window Systems.
There was no existing fire separation between the upper and lower duplexes. As the lower unit was directly in front and below the main viewing window of the unit to be renovated, a fire separation solution that would not affect the views or inhibit the amount of glazing had to be designed. Structurally, the new works required lightweight construction over the existing structure. To brace the new upper level and transfer the additional weight of the structure, additional structural columns were needed and connected to new footings in the existing sub-floor.
Site access was restricted by the narrow, winding laneway between large trees making it difficult for crane, large machinery and truck access. Access and construction was further challenged by the steepness of the site.
The design resolution exceeded the client’s brief of an additional storey, it created a home where they can enjoy a better lifestyle and is a positive addition to the neighbourhood community.
Questions and Answers
Q. What was the house like before the renovations?
The home was the upper duplex of an original early 80’s duplex building, practically pinned to the side of the steep hill, the site drops away from beneath it. The home consisted of an entry at street level, with a staircase down (half a level) to a lower living level which included a living, dining & kitchen. Under the living level was the bedroom level consisting of a master bedroom and ensuite, two bedrooms, a bathroom and the laundry.
The living space felt confined due to the sloped ceiling/roof and the relatively small north facing windows which restricted natural light and amazing views. There was no external deck so you could not be outside and enjoying the view or beautiful Gold Coast climate.
The home had no street presence; it was merely an open carport that you had to walk through to arrive at the entry door.
Q. Please describe the body of work completed (ie walls removed, added).
A new upper level, containing a master suite (bedroom, ensuite & w.i.r.), lounge and covered deck/outside entertainment area, was added. A new entry space was added at the entry level and the existing living level (living, dining and kitchen) was renovated to open up to the north and the views. The kitchen on the existing living level had been recently renovated so it remained.
The builder came up with a great idea; to keep the existing living level roof over the living, dining and kitchen to protect these spaces from the weather during construction. Once the new upper mastersuite level was built over the existing living level, and the project was weather tight, the existing roof was removed.
Work at entry/street level included: removing the existing carport and building an enclosed garage and separate entrance with covered glass awning. Vertical spotted gum timber cladding was used on the entry level walls and conceals the entry door and tilt-up garage door. The garage door was designed to be discreet, the vertical timber cladding conceals the door so the focus is on the beauty of the timber and not a garage door.
The corners of the garage are rounded adding an additional softness to the walls and allowing the new upper storey to float over slightly.
The spotted gum timber cladding continues from the external garage wall, internally through the entry space and down the stairs to the living level below. It also conceals sliding doors to the powder room and garage from the entry hallway.
A new powder room was added to the entry level to serve the living, dining and kitchen level so people do not need to go down to the lower private bedroom level. The double height volume in the entry hall and the feature pendant lighting add to the arrival experience and accentuate the feeling of openness and space.
A new staircase was added to access to the new master suite level above.
Work at the living level included: removing the existing sloping roof and raising the ceiling height by half a storey. This allowed more natural light into the living spaces, and opened the existing space vertically in order to appreciate the amazing ocean and city skyline view. The entire north wall was removed which contained two existing windows and was replaced with a 1.5 storey high (4.4m high) glazed façade. The powdercoated aluminium window extends the entire width of the north façade.
The main portion of the powdercoated aluminium framed window is the Aneeta double hung window system. Sections of this window includes decorative powder coated aluminium screens which are fixed in the Aneeta window system and one panel can slide up to open up to the view. This was the first time decorative powder coated aluminium screens had ever been incorporated into an Aneeta window system. A bank of solid powder coated aluminium louvers flank the western end of the north façade to control sun and privacy from a nearby building. The decorative aluminium screens filter sunlight and add to the drama of the space. A motorised external blind (concealed within the deck soffit above) also has the ability to control sun penetration at different times of the day and year.
Side windows on the east façade were replaced with horizontal sliding Aneeta Windows to provide views of the landscape and ocean. Work at the upper level included: a completely new level including a covered deck with outdoor bar, a lounge area with feature wall joinery, an open style master bedroom on a slightly higher level to overlook the lounge to the terrace and view beyond. Feature seat-height joinery delineates the lounge from the bedroom. Sliding doors that are concealed in the wall and hung from a ceiling track run along this edge to completely or partially close off the bedroom for privacy as desired.
The feature wall joinery behind the lounge spaces becomes full height wardrobe joinery alongside the bedroom and continues to the ensuite where is becomes a dresser.
The ensuite is open with private enclosed shower and toilet. The most dramatic feature of the ensuite is the freestanding bath and its backdrop, a stunning 2.5m high chipolina marble wall in the master ensuite
Behind the ensuite is a separate walk-in-robe.
The decorative powdercoasted aluminium screens are also featured on this level and are visible from the street elevation. Backlit at night by internal lighting they are a beautifully, fine and decorative element whilst also adding a soft veil of privacy to the already very private and secluded laneway.
Q. What was the biggest splurge on this project?
The powder coated aluminium laser cut screens and the Aneeta windows on the north façade.
Q. What was the client’s brief for the project?
In essence the brief was to open up the existing living level spaces (living, dining & kitchen) to the incredible view that had been restricted by a sloping roof and relatively small north- facing windows and add an upper level with master suite (master bedroom, ensuite & w.i.r.), lounge and covered deck/outside entertainment area so that their fantastic location could be aptly enjoyed. Add a new entry/arrival space, powder room and enclosed garage.
The kitchen, on the living level had recently been renovated so it was to be kept as is.
The lower bedroom level was to be kept as is.
The clients requested a solid built form and a timeless architectural design aesthetic.
Q. What were some of the special design considerations of the project?
On our initial site investigations we discovered there was no existing fire separation between the upper and lower duplexes and this was a requirement under the current Building Code of Australia. As the lower unit was directly in front and below the main viewing window of the unit to be renovated, a fire separation solution that would not affect the views or inhibit the amount of glazing had to be designed and certified by a fire engineer. A discreet fire shelf is positioned below the main north-facing window and protects the upper duplex unit should the lower unit catch fire.
Structurally, the new works had to be of a lightweight nature due to them bearing predominantly onto the existing structure. To brace the new upper level and transfer the additional weight of the structure, additional structural columns were taken down through ( and concealed within) the existing living level and bedroom level walls (east and west) and connected to new footings in the existing sub-floor.
Light weight external fibre cement wall panels were used for the upper floor walls and the (client who is a professional renderer developed and applied a unique concrete look render to the external upper level lightweight external walls. Access to the site was restricted by a narrow, winding laneway between large trees making it difficult for crane access, large machinery and delivery trucks in particular?
The kitchen had recently been renovated so we also had to work around that as explained previously.
Q. What was your inspiration for the design?
The client’s lifestyle; how they wanted to live and entertain in their home, and their interests which was a love for 60s style, décor and art. The client had a keen interest in design and was very involved in the project’s design especially in making selections for materials, fittings, fixtures, furniture and furnishings.
Q. What is your favourite part of the renovated space?
The new upper level mastersuite, lounge and north-facing roof terrace with amazing ocean and city views is simply spectacular. You feel like you are in the penthouse of a luxury highrise apartment.
The master bedroom is slightly raised from the lounge space so you can lie in bed and enjoy the amazing view. The space has the ability to be completely open or partitioned off with a flexible sliding door system. The large, covered, north-facing roof deck is a hard place to leave!
Q. What makes this renovation special?
The project had so many challenges to consider during the design and construction process yet all were successfully overcome. The transformation of this home has been incredible and this is largely due to the architect, client and builder all working together and striving to achieve an amazing outcome. The clients were a pleasure to work with, they were very open to our design ideas and also added so much to the project themselves, from the external rendering to the final selections they were very involved in the project and ultimately very proud and happy with the result.