Imagine if you could live in a relaxed beach house setting without sacrificing the perks of inner-city living. That's exactly what this clever-thinking family have managed to achieve. They sold their larger home a bought two smaller homes — one close to the city for work and school and the other on the top level of an art deco apartment right across from Bondi Beach. MCK Architects helped them to redesign the small but well-located apartment into a sophisticated inner-city beach house. Despite the throngs of tourists and all the action at street level, this apartment captures the spirit of a beach-side getaway.
Space Saving Design
Due to the size of this apartment, the manipulation of space was the most important element to ensure the house felt comfortable for a family. The architects' skills of organising and arranging space was essential to the success of the project.
Entering the apartment is a delight in itself. Where you might ordinarily find an entry foyer, instead there is a sunny open-air courtyard. This decked courtyard is a delightfully casual way to enter the apartment, setting the mood for the laid-back beach pad. The deck is more than spacious enough to provide entertainment and relaxation space for the family, taking full advantage of Sydney pleasant weather.
Outdoor Living Space
An entry clad in driftwood marks the entrance to the apartment proper, while built-in seating and wraps around the courtyard. Tucked behind a curved white wall is an outdoor shower to wash the sand off after the beach. The kitchen straddles the inside and the outside — an increasingly common design which encourages outdoor living and dining.
A Touch of South Africa
If you get a sense of the African savannah from the styling of the home, that's no accident. The owners recalled a relaxed holiday in a South African beach villa, so the architects have captured the spirit of that time in the design of the interior. A touch of South Africa in Bondi? Why not!
MCK Architects have transformed the interior from a series of small rooms into one large open space. Living areas are separated from more private zones by a curved central joinery unit which runs the length of the apartment. Like all good small-space designs, this joinery spine serves a dual purpose — separating and defining public/private zones and providing much needed storage for the compact space.
The kitchen bench is cleverly detailed and folds down into an integrated dining table. This saves space and is a stylish transition from standing height bench into dining area. The oven, fridge and microwave is hidden under bench level to increase the sense of space in the kitchen.
A separate services area containing a laundry, toilet, second fridge, outdoor shower and surfboard storage are tucked neatly behind the curved masonry wall. This is like a pit-stop after a trip to the beach — a sand room, if you will. Keeping these services separate from the apartment creates a more spacious feeling as well as being very practical.
"This apartment has brought the family together to enjoy a sophisticated and relaxed beachside living space in an urban context – a casual and elegant reinterpretation of coastal apartment living." — ArchitectureAU