Crowsnest House


The Crownest Retreat is perched above the township of Agnes waters/ 1770 on Queensland's 'Discovery coast'.  It commands a view to Rocky Point and the last surf beach along the eastern coastline of Australia, before the surf surrenders to the reef. It was designed as a retreat for a young couple, a place to invite friends and family.

The house coils around itself on the top of the hill, with the bedroom tower anchoring onto a rocky outcrop and living quarters cantilevered off the hillside.  The plan responds  to intense mapping and inter-locution with the broader Site. The form generates a central private deck which is drawn towards the principle view and frames the panoramic sweep.  Open to the night sky the deck relies on 'shadow-casting' from the deck awning and the massing of the house to shade and protect. The east facing timber screened  wall  modulates the morning light and becomes a lit canvas at day's end.  The hardwood  timbers  ageing to a silver grey with time.

The interiors form a linked chain of elegant coastal volumes, designed to disarm occupants, and temper from the intense tropical light. Movement through the interior of the house is choreographed to reveal selected views and moments within the landscape. The interiors feature detailing in local hardwoods and timber veneers contrast which against articulated white plaster and polished concrete.  The Clients have noted the interiors are akin to' living inside a musical instrument'  inspiring raised voices and song.

Journeying through the house one finally arrives at the 'crowsnest'.  Like a pulpit addressing the sea, the cantilevered white cube projects beyond the edge of the house, leaving  one to hover in the breeze,  in a moment of solitude, looking out to the blue horizon.


Regional Commendation, Central Coast Region, RAIA Queensland Architecture Awards, 2013


Photography: Keith Burt