Living Screen House is a stunning single-family residence located in North Bondi, a coastal suburb of Sydney, Australia. The client’s brief was for a home which could be a springboard for entertaining indoors and outdoors as well as a private retreat for their family of five. A key requirement of the house was to make it easier for the inhabitants to do the things they love, including entertaining at home and surfing at nearby Bondi Beach.
The narrow site is overlooked by neighbouring double storey houses and low rise apartment blocks across the street, creating significant privacy challenges for the occupants and their desire for an indoor/outdoor lifestyle.The form of the final building was driven by the need to resolving these concernswhile incorporating passive solar design and natural daylighting principles.
On approach, the fully plumbed, self-maintained, LED lit living green wall screens and custom planter beds to the front and side façades are immediately visible. These ensure privacy from neighbours and pedestrian traffic, while also providing a natural green outlook for the home’s occupants.
Conceptually, the spatial planning of the house separates the social and family spaces. Downstairs, the interconnected kitchen, living, dining and outdoor spaces create a highly interactive and engaged site designed to accommodate large groups, while smaller groups of teenage children can hangout in the media room which spills into the entry courtyard.Secure storage for sports equipment is accessible from the entry courtyard, which has made it easier to grab a surfboard and head to the beach after work or school without tracking sand into the house. One specific request was for a kitchen that would enable a high degree of interaction while food preparation was undertaken and make taking a cheeky Instagram shot of the final meal as easy as possible. To achieve this, the galley kitchen and island bench include carefully considered lighting and neutral splashbacks, while a custom built in seat gives guests somewhere to recline while chatting with those preparing food. Similarly, the above ground lap-pool is designed to facilitate interaction with those in the social spaces. The pool shares a clear wall with the double height social space, acting as a visual connection between the interior and exterior spaces and refracting natural light throughout the lower level of the house.
The craftsmanship of the build is elegantly revealed in the material palette, which includes unfinished cement bonded wood composite boards, burnished concrete, expressed timber, Corten facade and steel and timber columns that celebrate the structural systems in the house. The home features predominantly raw, low embodied energy materials throughout with large rainwater storage and a massive 10KW solar system on the roof.
Upstairs is a private family level, with a parent’s retreat, children’s bedrooms and family bathrooms. Each bedroom enjoys an outlook onto private outdoor green space with the property, either onto the vertical screen gardens or into planting in the lower yard level.
Since handover, the family have hosted a 21st birthday party, a family Christmas gathering and many impromptu barbeques with friends and report that the home exceeds their dreams.