Rock leg­end

Belle - - Coas Tal H Ome S -

Ac­claimed Syd­ney de­signer Thomas Hamel and part­ner Ge­orge Mas­sar have carved out a home bor­der­ing a na­tional park with far-reach­ing views over the bush and the south coast. thomashamel.com What ini­tially ap­pealed to you about the lo­ca­tion? The proximity to Syd­ney and yet the ab­so­lute es­cape from city life. Na­ture pre­vails here. We viewed the prop­erty on­line years be­fore ac­quir­ing the house but it re­mained for­ever in our minds be­cause of the iconic rock for­ma­tions that look as if ‘thrown at the house by di­nosaurs’. How did you re­solve the chal­lenges of the site? The sur­round­ings and the views are in­cred­i­ble so we try to main­tain an ‘edited eye’ with the gar­den and in­te­ri­ors as it would be so easy to over-plant the gar­den and over-fur­nish the rooms. What are the con­sid­er­a­tions in de­sign­ing a home in a coastal set­ting? It’s im­por­tant to main­tain a nat­u­ral har­mony with the very strong sur­round­ings and el­e­ments. We de­cided that noth­ing should be pre­cious or feel overly man­u­fac­tured. De­scribe the com­pleted home? It is an as­sem­blage of spe­cial items from around the globe that act as sou­venirs of our life to­gether. Ev­ery­where I look, I re­mem­ber the sense of dis­cov­ery when items are found and we dis­cuss a place for them to live. The ‘boul­der’ aca­cia wood chairs that speak so well to the rock for­ma­tion in the up­per gar­den, for ex­am­ple, as well as the won­der­ful tim­ber and bronze Leo de Vries sculp­ture that feels as if it came from the gar­den out­side. How does the project re­spond to the land­scape and its coastal con­text? This house and gar­den are com­pletely nes­tled into the sur­rounds and cre­ate a har­mo­nious unit. The in­cred­i­ble ocean views are ever chang­ing but our home is not uniquely a beach­house. It is lo­cated in the bush which means the in­clu­sion of shells and drift­wood are nice but should not be the only im­por­tant el­e­ments. What in­formed the se­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture, ttings and nishes? We were de­ter­mined to utilise hand­crafted and nat­u­ral prod­ucts and nishes. Sisal rugs were used on top of hand­made ce­ramic tiles, and fur­nish­ings from Ge­orge’s La-based fur­ni­ture col­lec­tion Gre­go­rius Pi­neo all have craft nishes to the plas­ter, tim­ber or metal el­e­ments. Our col­lec­tion of tribal items and art from far- ung places all add to the in­trin­sic na­ture of ev­ery­thing feel­ing hand-wrought. How do you use the space? It is a place to step away from our work and ex­pe­ri­ence a larger ex­is­tence. We ‘breathe’ as soon as we ar­rive and ex­pe­ri­ence na­ture, wildlife and the in­cred­i­ble beauty the nat­u­ral world of­fers. My favourite week­end task is col­lect­ing twigs for the evening re.

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