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House Overlooking Palm Beach, Sydney

The house is located on the high ridge to the south of Palm Beach, and has spectacular views to the north, over the beach and to Barrenjoey and Pittwater.

Previously there was a weatherboard, brick and stone three storey house on the site. As new three storey dwellings were not allowed by council, the new design had to be for alterations and additions to the existing house and not a completely new build. To this end it was required that the front and side walls, the chimney and the timber floors were to be maintained. As well the house footprint could only be extended marginally to the rear.

The new design included two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a laundry, a games room, a plant room and an extra living area at basement level. The enlarged basement was excavated to the line of the front wall while the existing retained walls and chimney had to be suspended in the air until the new basement walls could be built to support them.

The main living, dining and kitchen areas, and the garage and entry are on the middle level, while the top floor has a master bedroom and ensuite, and two more bedrooms and a bathroom.

The north facing sliding glazed doors to the middle level have reciprocal louvred sliding shutters with insect screening on the outside and they all slide back to give clear openings for the full width of the rooms. This gives full inside/outside interaction between the living spaces and the balcony.

The doors and shutters that slide in a westerly direction stack in a position cantilevered off the side of the building.

Similarly the sliding doors to the balcony on the top floor give an equal inside/outside interaction to the bedrooms.

All these doors slide on stainless steel tracks suspended in a custom made stainless steel gutter with timber infills between the tracks, so that the whole assembly, the inside floor and the outside paving are all completely flush.