Jamison Architects were faced with a wee conundrum designing this waterfront duplex: open up to the uninterrupted southerly waterway views or embrace the sun to the north. They said, 'why not do both?' and developed an innovative design with a central courtyard, so the homes have water in one direction and a lush tropical garden in the other!
The clients of Watersedge wanted a home that would feel like a calming sanctuary and retreat from their busy working lives. The duplex development was planned as a home for owners Alysa and Dan and their Blue Heeler dog, Diesel, and the other home would be sold, so it was important to be both the perfect home for the couple as well as an attractive home for the new owners. "They wanted the home to feel spacious and open and connected to the landscape, lots of glazing but they also wanted privacy." This second part could be a challenge given their enviable, yet very public site backing onto the water.
Luckily, Jamison Architects were able to develop a design that makes the most of the site's strengths, while still creating two peaceful and private homes.
The secret was creating a central courtyard for each duplex so living areas are bookended by the courtyard and a terrace and pool overlooking the water. This way, virtually every room has a view of either the canal, the lush courtyard or both! The other advantage of the courtyard design is it helps the home overcome its problematic orientation towards the south. Living areas can enjoy sunny winter days while still soaking up the view. A more private alfresco dining area in the courtyard is perfect for entertaining, sheltered from the street, neighbours and the water.
A vergola over the alfresco area means it's protected from the sun and wet weather, but the louvres can open up to let winter sun deep into the living areas.
The courtyard design also maximises cooling breezes. The living areas can be opened up on either side, the entire corner of the courtyard sliding away to transform the home into a covered outdoor area and making the most of the Gold Coast's stunning climate. With long east and west faces, the duplex deals with the sun through a combination of remote-controlled external blinds, internal blinds and curtains and solid louvres, so it can feel light and bright without overheating.
A window seat next to a bank of louvres is a beautiful spot to relax and enjoy the views. You'd be forgiven for thinking you're on holidays relaxing there with a book in hand, creating that perfect sense of sanctuary and retreat for Alysa and Dan.
The four-bedroom design is flexible enough that Alysa can use one of the bedrooms as her yoga studio, with views over the courtyard. There's also a dedicated study space on the ground floor overlooking the courtyard. The main bedroom suite has a generous balcony overlooking the water which also cleverly creates a bit more privacy by blocking sightlines from the water into the bedroom space.
"A rich and refined palette of raw materials, colours and textures including timber, polished concrete floors, textural wall tiles and the connection to the outdoors creates a very contemporary tropical luxe and relaxing feel to this home", explains the architect. Jamison Architects love brining in a luxurious hotel-like experience into their designs, even including surprise extras like a concealed tea/coffee/minibar in the main bedroom suite and an outdoor shower incorporated into the landscaping to create a resort feel at home.
"The elegant efficiency of the architectural planning allows this duplex to make the most of the site and add an unexpected private inner oasis to be appreciated from almost every room in the home on both the lower and upper level. Similarly, the terraced pool area adjacent to the waterway allows the homeowners to feel like they could just walk onto the water from their living spaces, hence the feeling of living on the water’s edge." - Jamison Architects