Sydney builder Horizon worked closely with architects Tobias Partners to create a contemporary urban home on Bondi Beach, far removed from the concept of a traditional beach house.
Spread over three levels, the home includes a craft room, cinema room, music room, library that doubles as a guest room, and a large living area with sweeping views of Bondi.
The walls and spaces are adorned with a wide selection of artwork, while at the same time, the house remains highly practical for a busy young family.
The site, which is located only a few metres from the shores of Bondi Beach, presented unique challenges to the builder.
David Moses, managing director of Horizon, told SCHWARTZWILLIAMS the main challenges were difficult access to the site, and working with the existing structure. The original home had very low ceiling heights, with minimal space for services. During the build, the structure needed to be highly secured to support the removal of walls in order to create wide, open-plan living spaces.
The excavation at the rear of the site for the pool and garden also posed challenges, according to Moses. Features such as a copper fireplace, terrazzo flooring, and beeswax plaster walls also needing particular care with installation.
Moses said the scope for the building was developed as the project went along. "We had to work very closely with the architects in order to stay ahead of them," he said.
"It was absolutely critical to keep communicating and problem solving with the architect, particularly when taking into account the harsh seaside conditions. We worked together throughout – we tried to be as flexible and organised as possible, to give Tobias Partners plenty of time to provide us with details as we saw them coming up," said Moses.
Moses said the builder was able to suggest a number of solutions to the architect, which were taken on board. Horizon's 25 years’ experience in the industry was also essential in finding the best subcontractors.
Materials required careful consideration, said Moses.
"Harsh locations require extra thought in design and attention to detail with materials," he said.
"The best materials for building by the sea are non-porous," he said. "Steel needs to be galvanised, or stainless. Aluminium is not bulletproof and needs extra anodising or powder coating. Timber can get destroyed by the salt without maintenance."
"Not many materials are especially designed to withstand the salt, water, wind, even sun – and those that are, are generally expensive," said Moses, explaining that ongoing maintenance will be essential.
In such a unique and well-put-together home, it's no surprise there were some elements that particularly appealed to Moses.
"The skylight over the stairs is fantastic – it brings light all the way in to the house," he said.
"And the cedar hot tub on the balcony has a view to die for."
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