What a inspirational beach house architecture. Assembling with timber, this house is very pretty. Nestled within the Stradbroke Island beach community at Point Lookout, is Brit Andresen and Peter O�Gorman�s Mooloomba House. Sitting on an elevated north facing site, the two storey building is composed of a series of rooms of varying levels of enclosure or exposure, stretched along the length of the sloped boundary. In this house, living takes place amongst a wild garden of Banksias and Boxtrees, wrapped by a light framework that houses the more complex requirements of dining, sleeping, bathing and preparing food.
The site is dominated by garden, and edged by building. The siting strategy places the house along the long western boundary, so that the living spaces look east across the garden. Following the movements of the microclimate, the house faces the sun while the eastern wall is a filtering edge to the breezes that swing from southeast to northeast.
The hardwood and laminated ply structural system was developed for the building as part of an ongoing desire of the architects to express the strength, durability and aesthetic potential of Australian hardwood. Through the lamination process, hardwood�s potential to warp, twist, cup and crack while seasoning is diminished, while its strength and durability is maintained.
This house is designed to accommodate a simple series of holiday living requirements: to sleep, eat, bathe, read, and relax. The two-storey building is composed of two systems of framing and several different �characters� of construction. These construction differences throughout the building are linked to the way that the building is organised, occupied and sited .
The garden boundary side of the building is the structural core, housing the living requirements for sleeping, bathing, and preparing food. The western side of the house is slung between the structural core and a series of irregularly spaced cypress poles. It interacts with the garden through a freeform combination of structure and cladding that lightly frames a series of multipurpose �outdoor� living rooms. The living room is an insulated, double skin space designed with an increased potential for enclosure, as a �warm� place during cold weather.
Sleeping boxes, large enough for a bed and a little storage, are off a narrow open walkway on the upper level that overlooks the garden side of the house. The spaces are tight modules fitted within strict framing based on the dimensions of standard plywood sheets.
The house is large, yet has only sixty-five square metres of internal space. Its small enclosed floor area helped maintain a low overall cost, and this economy has been assisted through O�Gorman constructing the house with Mellor. Using a single skin structure in response to the climate, fixing uncut, standard size sheets of plywood to the building, using locally sourced Cypress poles, and maintaining minimal kitchen and bathroom spaces, are also factors that have contributed to low costs.
The major framing of the structural core is composed of two rigid, longitudinal, post and beam frames spaced 1200mm apart. This frame is constructed from an 18mm plywood core, set between two dressed, 90x42mm hardwood members. The plywood acts as a spacer to maintain similar construction dimensions throughout the building. The hardwood pieces, with grains opposed, are bolted to the plywood in order to reduce the tendency of the originally unseasoned hardwood to warp, twist, cup or crack as it dried.
The frames were constructed from a single species of green, structural timber. The two frames are spaced 1200mm apart to allow for standard plywood sheets to be fixed between them as shear wall bracing along the length of the building.
A secondary frame at 600mm centres is supported on the ceiling and first floor beams of the longitudinal frame. This frame is constructed of three laminated pieces of 18mm hardwood, with opposed grains for reduced warping. The members are framed as rectangular portals with rigid bridge joints at the corners. These portals form a cage for all of the first floor spaces, and give lateral bracing to the structure. Further bracing is achieved with a series of lateral steel cross braces, and horizontal steel cross braces within the major frame.
A cross-braced hardwood frame spans between the structural core, and a series of living trees and cypress poles, to form the �garden� side of the building. The poles are set 1.5m into the sand, and are left with the bark on in the outdoor rooms. These support the roof and are braced internally, so that the walls can be non-structural. The walls are clad in a free combination of battens, louvres, tall glass doors, and corrugated acrylic roofing. The rafters are also spaced irregularly to work with the spacing of the poles, and to experiment with the co-existence of opposite conditions in architecture.