2 x 2 House

The 2 x 2 House is a coastal project.  It has one face to the South East overlooking the Tasman Sea and the potentially wild weather that often comes from that direction, and one face towards the more benign North West with distant views to Kuringai National Park.

It is split into two offset pavilions. One side pushes forward towards the South East to capture the incredible elevated headland and beach views. The other pavilion sits back on the site to create a protected rear yard and provide Northern light to almost every room.

Centrally located between the pavilions is all the vertical and horizontal circulation in the house. Entry, stair and bridges to the bedroom pavilion are located at the core of the plan. This compression of circulation to the middle of the house brings legibility and clarity to the house.  Rooms are clearly zoned off the central circulation space and there is a clear delineation between public and private

Materially, the house is built to withstand the corrosive environment. Doors and windows are all recycled hardwoods. Decks and cladding are tallowood. Floors and exposed structure are all blackbutt. Applied hardwood finishes are all penetrative to facilitate easy recoating.

Environmentally, the house seeks to maximize the benefits of being in a coastal environment. The stepped plan form allows for cross ventilation from any angle. There is extensive use of louvers and external venetian blind sunshading to control air flow and light. There is a 5KW optimized PV system installed with 10KWH batteries installed (and potential for additional storage as required).

The house does not have any active cooling apart from ceiling fans. Heating is via hydronic underfloor and radiators.

Most notably, the house provides a sense of joy through engagement and honesty rather than luxury. Quality has been achieved through thoughtful choices and careful detailed workmanship. It is a welcoming, and unpretentious house which is well suited to both its owners and its location.

Project Team : Matt Elkan , Daina Cunningham

Builder : Graybuilt

Structural Engineer : SDA

Joinery : Fine Earth / Beaches Creative Kitchens

Steel : EJF

Doors / Windows : Architectural Hardwood Joinery

Lighting : Tovo

Photographs : Simon Whitbread

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