Castaway's Retreat


Castaway's Retreat is a coastal weekender born in the Post-Casurina Beach quintessential shack era. Built for a Brisbane couple and their young son, their brief required that the house should reflect the manner of the Sunshine Coast and be a weekender as opposed to a primary residence.

The project challenges the dominant rendered block and brick language of the surrounding suburban developments, drawing alternatively on the culture of the 'lock-up and leave' fishing huts from Noosaville and the Maroochy river regions.

At the core of the plan is a two storey vertical volume stationed over the external deck. The living zones are clustered around the void, sheltering it against the south-easterly wind, the western sun and the neighbours. A series of stacking doors, windows and walls open onto and over the deck to create a single unified space or provide the versatility to close down into distinct rooms. The ascended mastersuite projects itself into the void, claiming framed bluewater views to the east. A set of stairs lead down from the bunkhouse to surf and craft a sandy path towards the beach.

The elemental approach to organising the internal program has been expressed externally in a Mondrian-like composition; the slate grey mini-orb 'bunkhouse', the vertical 'entry lantern' and the floating cube of white fibro containing the 'mastersuite' perched above a linear plywood box. The materials reflect traditional beach architecture - fibro, tin and ply with the inclusion of polycarbonate as an interactive membrane, alternatively illuminating the stair and the street.


Photography: David Sandison