The Mermaid Beach Residence is a dialogue between architecture and the intrinsic human desire and emotional need for permanence, or in other words; to put down roots. In contrast, the home is situated atop a beach which is impermanent, a place of both erosion and movement.
The locality of Mermaid Beach often has to contend with cyclonic winds and thunderstorms, as well as harsh, penetrating sunlight. These environmental factors meant that the architecture had to speak to these fundamental considerations by providing both privacy for the residents, and protection from the often volatile weather conditions. At the same time, the clients wanted a relaxed, open, sun-drenched family home which opened directly onto the beach. Poured in-situ concrete was used as the primary building material giving the house a sense of solidarity and protection from the elements, while operable timber panels punctuate the facade and offer privacy from the thoroughfare of the beach.
The concrete facade is a contrast of smooth and rough textures that is achieved through a technique called ‘scabbling’, which involves exposing the aggregate beneath by hand using a high pressure, hand-operated impact drill. The concrete features throughout the house as part of the interior finishes and softened by natural timber joinery and furniture. These are reflective of the client’s appreciation of minimalist Scandinavian design and desire for simple and uncluttered open spaces.