The Waterfront Retreat
“Design should not speak too loudly. What’s important is how you live your life and how you connect to the environment. When you are living in our design, our goal is that you don’t see it. It’s what we call invisible architecture. It puts you at ease, in your most relaxed state of mind.” Koichi Takada
The Waterfront Retreat is the epitome of an Australian dream home, adorned with a private beach, garden and open-plan living.
Responding the clients’ brief – a house offering sanctuary and entertainment, the Waterfront Retreat is designed to allow nature to lead, offering maximum seclusion and connection to its surrounds and outlook.
Located on a steeply sloping waterfront block, facing the vast expanse of Pittwater, a terraced, four levels building progressively stretched and stepped north-westward as it tumbled water-wards with the site. A series of artificial rock or floating platforms that are presented as a sequence of cantilevered concrete slabs that float above recessed stacked-stone cladded podium. To maximise the sense of levitation, the slabs are tapered to a finer point water-wards, with the living and dining area particularly designed to appear as a floating box.
To fully experience the site’s glorious changing light through the hours, days and seasons, large floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, floor-to-ceiling glazing, skylights and oversized cantilevered balconies are used to connect occupants with their surroundings, outlook and nature.
Breaking down the building’s large 1600m2 footprint, interior spaces were programmed as inviting ‘pockets’ over four main levels, creating a sense of intimacy and warmth in even the largest open-plan. Master suite placed on the second floor with eastern light and four bedrooms positioned on the upper entry level, with light drawn from the rooftop – offering occupants the joyous warmth and feel of early sunlight across a floor and space.
An open-plan living area, show kitchen and rear functional kitchen occupy the third level, with informal spaces – including a home theatre, bar, gym and casual entertaining spaces – positioned on the fourth floor as you move closer to the beach and relaxed waterside setting. Overlooking and offering access to the garden, beach and Pittwater a half level below is the resort style infinity pool.
Inspired by the hues and textures of the area’s sand, bush, water and sky, the design features creamy, whitish-grey in-situ concrete walls, bleached European Oak and limestone flooring, soft sandstone-coloured stack stone feature walls, and ‘invisible’ floor to ceiling Vitrocsa glass. All materials are meticulously married and detailed to seamlessly connect exterior and interior spaces, to create a seamless organic flow, enhance the perception of space, and to speak of the surrounding landscape.
- Shortlisted 2018 Houses Awards 2018
- ProjectThe Waterfront Retreat
- LocationNewport, Australia
- StatusCompleted in 2017
- Architecture and Interior DesignKoichi Takada Architects
- StylistSarah Jayne Studios
- DeveloperJGroup Projects & Development
- PhotographyTom Ferguson Photography