Build was love at fi rst site
WHEN designing his contemporary family home at Kingston Beach, architect Tim Penny’s creation was informed by the steep site while also drawing inspiration from the traditional architecture found in the area in the early 20th century.
He has lived on the hillside plot of land since the ’ 70s, at fi rst in the modest white weatherboard house at the front of the long property.
Five years ago, the Pennys built at the top of the block.
One of the advantages of the site is its undeveloped feel, its bush setting makes you forgot you are in the middle of seaside suburbia.
The home is a steel structure built around a textural, off- form concrete interior.
A central set of stairs is the heart of the home from which its rooms have been built around.
At the front of the property is an exciting cantilevered living room. It features big windows, a fl oor- to- ceiling bookshelf, baby grand piano, and spaces to curl up in comfort.
My wife Sonia would probably pick the lounge room as her favourite space or the master bedroom retreat where she can escape the bustle of the house and enjoy the solitude and quiet
But as the house climbs the slope to the upstairs bedrooms and bathroom, it transitions into a single scale, almost petite structure that, from the back door, reveals nothing that lies below.
From the entry you can turn right into the kitchen with its mirrored splashback and stainless steel workspaces, or left into a Victorian dressing- room style study highlighted by a theatrical splash of high- end wallpaper.
The dining room steps through to an outdoor entertaining space highlighted by a 12m lap pool that takes in uninterrupted views.
For Tim, this is his favourite part of the house.
“I am a swimmer and in summer I love to
duck down to the beach for a lap, but there is nothing like a swim in your own pool,’’ he said.
“My wife Sonia would probably pick the lounge room as her favourite space or the master bedroom retreat where she can escape the bustle of the house and enjoy the solitude and quiet.’’
From the deck looking back toward the house there is a sense of permanence; it is anchored by the black cement and the black vertical boards that echo the beach shack style typical of Kingston Beach’s past.
However, it is the little details that make a house a home. Tim believes every house should have a plaque and his sits in the entrance way, with a nod to the “legendary’’ builder Stuart Hancock who handled the home’s construction.
Tim said if he was designing his house today there is only one thing he would want to reconsider. The living room was positioned to take in a 45 degree view of Browns River. And there is a large fl oor- to- ceiling window that inhales the views and “talks to the mountain’’.
But to ensure the house in front of theirs was hidden from view, the height of the room’s largest window begins at about waist level.
It wasn’t the wrong decision but Tim said many architects don’t ever stop considering their compositional decisions. “I am always tinkering,’’ he said. “I do wonder if, perhaps, with a different window the lounge room space may have felt more dramatic.’’