2016 AIA Queensland Architecture Awards
Central Queensland Regional Commendation
Set atop the north facing side of Mt Whitsunday, Airlie Beach, the site affords spectacular views, very steep terrain and a foreboding exposure to cyclonic storms of the highest danger.
Juggling the two parameters of views and structural robustness, the house design evolved as a heavy, rigid concrete frame anchored into the mountain. A long, narrow plan shape hugs the contours and connects the variation in site levels.
The two distinct structures of Garage /Service/Storage and Dwelling are connected via an outdoor stair and bridge that lace together the opposed forms. The roofs are separated as if conjoined twins with their opposing pitches directing the mountain air–flow over the structures. The nesting forms create an intimate entry landscape that contrasts the mountain edge expansive view that awaits after entering through to the northern edge.
Transition into the house dramatically reveals a narrow stair canyon that views through full height frameless glass to the Whitsunday splendour.
Essentially planned over two levels the lower level has a compact open plan, Kitchen, Living, Dining Area that opens to the northern view and a very private new North West pool deck. The upper level houses bedrooms and a study.
The home embraces the cooler micro climate of the mountain top enabling year round access to al fresco living and hence the connection to the Pool / BBQ area was an important driver of the planning. Good access to the herb garden and lawn area is also afforded from each end of the living level. Further down the mountain site is a tropical fruit orchard that the owners keep.