This house, designed by long-time collaborators Gabriel Poole and Tim Bennetton is located in Currigee, an old fishing village on Stradbroke Island that ‘retains a low-key community atmosphere’. The locals want to protect that relaxed atmosphere, which means that, quite appropriately, any new houses that are built must sit below the ‘canopy line’ at about eight metres.
Gabriel and Tim were initially engaged by the owner to create a small island getaway for her and her four grandchildren, complete with a slippery slide – ‘Everyone got a bit excited once the water slide was floated!’, tells Tim. That’s one cool Nan! As they explored ideas, the project grew in scale, resulting in a fun, functional family beach house, built for entertaining.
Emerging from the canopy and positioned right on the beach, the house is designed as two wings, linked by a screened breezeway (very appropriate for island living). Skillion roofed pavilions, and series of structural frames create the form, surrounded by lush greenery.
In order to get around the strict council regulations, Gabriel and Tim cleverly dreamt up the idea for fold-out pods, with a tent-like roof to jut out from the side of the house – ’they take up less space when folded!’ Tim explains. As the owner is very social, Gabriel and Tim made sure there were many different spaces both inside and outside to entertain friends and family.
Given Stradbroke Island is only accessible by boat, the building process proved to be quite a challenge. Charlie the builder took it in his stride, and even learned how to drive a boat for the project! Processes were more difficult and costs were higher because ‘absolutely everything’ had to be barged over, and dragged up to the site. ‘Only one concrete truck got bogged!’ Tim assures!