Good design is all about making the most of what you've got and letting any shortcomings fade into the background. Some clever solutions at ALB/, a beach-front, cliff-top home in Adelaide mean even a home on a long, narrow block can capture scenic, wraparound views of the ocean.
PLY Architecture designed the home to make the most of the views despite having only a narrow frontage to work with. Their strategy involves some clever solutions which focus and amplify the views while downplaying the neighbours to either side and less than perfect east-west orientation of the site.
The first thing you'll notice is the garage is right down at the rear of the property instead of close to the street. This means the lower level can enjoy unobstructed views of the ocean. With the driveway to the north of the home, it also creates a buffer between the new home and the neighbours to maximise natural light.
Stonework on the ground floor creates a solid and grounded base, while the white upper storey hovers and cantilevers above. The stone is also tied to the cliff face below, connecting the home to its unique site. "The use of robust form and materials provide a low-maintenance and secure structure for the occupants to enjoy a coastal lifestyle", explains the architect.
The entrance to the home is also to the side off the driveway. This was a deliberate move to ensure the bedroom at the front of the house can enjoy a full-width viewing experience rather than sacrificing space for an entry and hall. Windows on the southern side of the hall are low to the ground, letting in light and breezes, but remaining private from the neighbouring property.
The living areas are elevated on the upper storey to maximise their views and light. A generous terrace cantilevers towards the ocean, creating an outdoor space with expansive views while also shading the bedroom downstairs and creating a covered outdoor space.
A dramatic corner window to the north-west of the living area brings in more light and opens up a panoramic view of the ocean.
Large windows to the north let in plenty of natural light but are obscured so they don't overlook the neighbour. Above eye-height, the windows contain transparent panes to capture glimpses of the sky.
A fourth bedroom on the upper level is cantilevered even further over the driveway below to capture a long-thin snapshot of the ocean.
From the upper floor, you don't notice the narrow frontage or the nearby neighbours, because all of your attention is focussed out there, on the crashing waves and the deep blue of the ocean. Thoughtful design means you can highlight your assets and conceal your weaknesses giving you occasion to sit down with a book and a cuppa and watch the waves roll in.
ALB/ Ground Floor Plan
ALB/ Upper Floor Plan