January, 2015


This free standing bungalow with an amazing vista out to the Pacific was in desperate need of updating after being rented out for 10 years. Tim Leveson Interiors were engaged to make over the interior spaces and brought Benedict Design in to re-imagine the front yard and entry. Being on an exposed coastal site the main balcony overlooking the ocean is rarely used due to harsh winds. The owner instead wanted to utilise the existing front and side setbacks that were more sheltered.

A design solution whereby the existing single garage is opened up on to the intermittent space adjacent the entry way benefits both spaces. Early on it was decided that the simple brick garage would remain rather then be knocked over to make way for an all new outdoor living space. The gabled roof provided a nice pairing with the similar forms of the house. Retaining it had the added benefit of a smooth planning approval process and less build cost.

The new outdoor spaces were conceived as a series of three distinct experiences for the visitor and owners alike. Aesthetic and planning cues were taken from both traditional Japanese & South American courtyard design, whereby a series of spaces connect but direct views between those spaces were limited. The entry court is defined by a realigned front fence, garage wall and garden with a 'soft' edge, spilling into the space. This space gets a relocated palm tree and outdoor shower for returning beach-goers. An existing dark en-suite space is replanned and opened out to a private courtyard screened off from the remainder of the front garden.

The next space is partially enclosed by large blade walls that extend from the garage and house, creating framed views beyond and helping to define the front door. A pergola overhead splices into the existing garage roof and provides a datum for the battened ceiling to the covered multi purpose space. This protected area within the garage opens out to the next space via a shuttered opening with bar and storage below. When there is inclement weather this space becomes the outdoor dining but is still a functioning car space - critical in Coogee.

The final space is more open and extends an existing deck to provide a BBQ area and outdoor lounge, complete with ocean views.

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