Built on a privileged location in Pearl Beach, New South Wales in Australia, the Block House is a modern, welcoming and comfortable retreat that was envisioned and designed by experts from Porebski Architects.
Flanked by a rain forest, a bush of eucalypt and the fine sands of the beach, this home is surrounded by natural forms of vegetations and so it was designed to blend easily into its surroundings. The main internal courtyard features 2 separate wings and is used as a tranquil retreat that offers great opportunities for relaxation and socialization.
The single-room plan features a distinct L shape and ensures an easy transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces thus enhancing comfort and convenience in the process. In order to make sure that the residence would benefit from optimum thermal comfort, the architects decided to implement a series of passive cooling and heating technologies as well as operable timber shutters that stand ready to offer much-needed protection from the Sun should the need arise. Other impressive technologies include geo-thermal heating, sub-floor ventilation, solar panels, rainwater harvesting systems and strategically placed skylights.
The interiors feature clean and modern arrangements based on high quality furniture pieces, subtle décor elements and comfortable seating arrangements.
From the Porebski Architects:
Situated on the shore of Pearl Beach, an area where the bush meets the coast, the Block House is a secluded escape designed to respond to its surroundings. Pearl Beach is formed by two coastal headlands and is defined by eucalypt bush to the north and south and a rainforest to the west. Contextually the house relates to the sandstone cliffs and caves of the surrounding headlands and heavy waves on the beach, which in turn influence the form and materiality of the building.
The internal courtyard is formed by two wings, providing an external enclosure protected from harsh onshore winds. The courtyard not only acts a private sanctuary for recreational use, but allows for consistent and controlled ventilation and sun access throughout all spaces in the house. L-shaped single room planning allows movement between interior and exterior spaces to remain unobstructed.
Raw and heavy elements pay homage to the surrounding cliffs and caves of the area. A simple palette of materials requiring minimal maintenance and finishes, along with precision in detailing, create the light sensibility of the structure. Operable layers of the facade generate the transparency of the house where visual and physical connections are established to the surrounding features of the site. Furthermore, sliding timber shutters and cavity sliding windows and doors allow spaces to open seamlessly, blurring the demarcation between inside and outside.
The Block House adheres to numerous sustainable design principles, including passive cooling and heating, external timber shutters, sub-floor ventilation, geothermal heating and cooling, rainwater harvesting, solar panels and thoughtfully placed skylights. The operable timber shutters and low-e double glazing provide protection from fluctuating external conditions, and work in unison with thermally massed materials to deal with high diurnal temperature ranges.
The outcome is a thoughtful sequence of meticulously crafted spaces forming a house that celebrates the act of living on the beach.