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Products, Projects

Stewart House

Located on the north-most peninsula of Sydney’s idyllic Northern Beaches, Stewart House is a carefully considered brick oasis.
Project
Stewart House
Location
Palm Beach, Sydney
Architect
Chenchow Little Architects
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POSTED
11.02.2022

Despite its coastal location, the home designed by Chenchow Little Architects could be easily mistaken as being situated in the dense thicket of the North Coast Hinterland or the Central Coast’s vast reserves. The home is nestled on the border of the McKay Reserve; a tract of remnant urban bushland which houses the endangered ecological Pittwater and Wagstaffe Spotted Gum Forest. Ideally located on the edge of one of Sydney’s most iconic waterways, the reserve sits on the ridge of the Barrenjoey Peninsula. 

Despite its stunning location, Stewart House is located within a bushfire risk zone, and as such, the design team ensured that the materiality, finishes and design considered this factor to meet the necessary requirements whilst also maintaining a strong aesthetic identity. 

Ensuring a timeless, durable and fire-safe materiality, the home’s walls are constructed entirely from insulated face bricks, the floors are crafted from travertine atop cooling concrete slabs and the roof has been designed in line with fire safety compliance.

With a relatively compact footprint, the home’s layout is simple, flowing around a central corridor with bedrooms adjoining along the length of the hallway and an open living space at the home’s rear overlooking the vast reserve. Reminiscent of architectural styles across the eras, the home’s design is a nod to both brutalist and to modernism. With a block-like exterior form and simple brickwork, the home features similar brickwork to that of Frank Lloyd Wright and the structural form of the brutalist homes of the 1950s and 60s.

Offering a unique design feature, the brick walls have a striking ‘hit and miss’ laying pattern along the home's exterior. Alongside the aesthetic appeal that this offers, the space within the bricks allows for light and airflow, creating a cool, breezy ambiance whilst still retaining privacy and shelter from the harsh sunlight, wind and other elements. 

Offering design continuity, the same brick feature is chosen alongside the indoor/outdoor space adjacent to the swimming pool. Ideal for balmy summer days, the shaded space allows for year-round entertaining. Offering a unique cut-through to the home’s compound-esque form, the playful laying patterns provide a breath of lightness amidst the full brick construction. 

Constructed out of Bowral Bricks in Chillingham White, the home sits comfortably alongside the natural materiality and is complemented by the abundance of lush greenery. The off-white colour provides a fresh tonality and lightness and to ensure ongoing sustainability and minimal intervention with the home’s facade requires no painting or rendering. What’s more, many of the materials used are domestically sourced and the brick featured throughout the home is backed by an 100 year guarantee. Furthering this commitment to environmental consideration, the home features a large tank for water collection, used for the bathrooms, laundry and garden. 

Whilst many homes of this locale are sprawling, opulent and decadent, Stewart House is intentionally refined, minimal and compact in its form. A single-story home, the dwelling was designed to sit comfortably amidst the stunning natural landscape, not eclipse it. 

“Offering a unique cut-through to the home’s compound-esque form, the playful laying patterns provide a breath of lightness amidst the full brick construction. ”

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“Offering a unique cut-through to the home’s compound-esque form, the playful laying patterns provide a breath of lightness amidst the full brick construction. ”

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