Backing onto sub-tropical rainforest on the edge of the Noosa National Park and its amazing surf beaches, the existing dark brown brick residence, although well constructed, had visually dated and missed the opportunity to take full advantage of its incredible location. The owners’ brief for Teeland Architects was to modernise the house while retaining as much of the existing building structure as possible.
One of the challenges with the original house was its rear – a solid brick wall, which completely ignored the possibilities of the beautiful surrounds. Teeland Architects proposed carving out a series of openings in the rear wall so that bedrooms and bathrooms would look out onto this private and serene landscape.
Installing a series of timber-lined light wells through the roof allowed the once-dark interior to be bathed in natural light, which can now flow in from a high level, as well as from the openings in the rear brick walls.
Transforming the front street elevation was crucial in modernising the home. The original house had an unflattering rough, dark brown brick façade with two mission brown garage roller doors. And, as the street elevation faced east, hot morning sun would blast in through the kitchen and dining windows in summer. Teeland’s smart solution was to render the brick in a natural cement finish and add a beautiful timber screen in front of the original façade – a lightweight hardwood structure that has given the street-facing exterior a refined, contemporary finish while providing sun protection and privacy for the internal spaces.
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One of the unique and delightful design elements of the new house is the semi-outdoor bathrooms that look out over the national park. The original house had an aged plastic shower unit that sat on the back deck, where you could shower outside looking into the rainforest. The owners loved this feature, so the architects designed the new bathrooms as hardwood boxes with large windows that open onto the private sub-tropical rainforest.
The Sunday House project won the 2016 Australian Institute of Architects Queensland State Award, 2016 Australian Institute of Architects Sunshine Coast Award, and 2016 Houses Award for Alterations and Additions over 200m2.
Photography: Jared Fowler