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Subtropical Modern In Sanctuary Cove

Architecture

Many architectural homes we feature are described as ‘indoor/outdoor’… but the Cove House by Justin Humphrey Architect really takes this idea to the limit!

This subtropical home on the water’s edge in Sanctuary Cove, south of Brisbane, takes its inspiration from Asian tropical architecture, in particular Singaporean architect Guz Wilkinson, and Sri Lanka’s Geoffrey Bawa.

17th June, 2019

The Cove House by Justin Humphrey Architect. Endicott Cobblestones by Eco Outdoor. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

Welcome to the (subtropical) jungle. Endicott Cobblestones by Eco Outdoor. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

The Cove House is designed to for maximum connection to the water. Endicott Cobblestones by Eco Outdoor. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

The architect designed multiple moments  where light and air flow between inside and outside. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

Clean lines create a sense of cohesion in this sweeping home. Endicott Crazy Pavers by Eco Outdoor. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

Playing with the threshold of indoor and outdoor. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

This home takes inspiration for subtropical architects including Guz Wilkinson and Geoffrey Bawa. Endicott Crazy Pavers by Eco Outdoor. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

Bathroom detail. Photo – Andy Macpherson. Stylist – Tracey Morland.

Miriam McGarry
Monday 17th June 2019

‘A grand tactile gesture’ – Justin Humphrey. 

The client brief for this stunning Queensland home was for a materially rich and tactile home, that captured the owner’s love of subtropical architecture. Located in a waterside community between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the home opens out to a public easement, but unlike the neighbouring properties, the architect and owners decided to pursue a design that opened out, rather than retreating.

This play between public and private was a guiding principle for architect Justin Humphrey, who explains how the ‘garden room’ at the front of the property acts as a ‘grand tactile gesture’ that creates a welcoming entrance to the home. Concrete walls, cobblestones and crazy pavers from Eco Outdoor, alongside tropical plants and battened-timber screens, work together to create a bold, cohesive statement, and turn the outdoor areas into richly layered ‘rooms’ of their own.

The line between public/private and indoor/outdoor is blurred and played with throughout the home. Justin highlights that there is no hierarchy between the indoor and outdoor spaces, as the home overlooks Sanctuary Cove and ‘connects its inhabitants strongly at all times to both water and garden.’ The varied spaces of the home are all unified under a single floating roof plane. Justin highlights ‘the strength and simplicity of the roof plane was critical to the design, and was achieved through close collaboration with the structural engineering team.’

The sub-tropical design is inspired by the work of Singaporean architect Guz Wilkinson, who is a favourite of the client. Justin also referenced the tropical modernist themes of Geoffrey Bawa’s residential work.

Justin highlights that the clients are delighted in their new home, which has become a ‘refuge from their demanding daily lives.’ This enthusiasm is echoed by the broader industry, with Cove House awarded ‘Regional Project of the Year’ in the 2019 Queensland Architecture Awards, along with a position in the shortlist for the 2019 Houses Award.

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