One with the world
Thank you

Palm Frond Retreat

2019-2023 Sector. Residential
A dramatic contemporary residence designed to make the most of its sought-after location.
2019-2023 Client. Private Client
A dramatic contemporary residence designed to make the most of its sought-after location.

Palm Frond Retreat sits high on Mosman's northern headland looking back over picturesque Balmoral Beach (Sydney, Australia). The five-bedroom, three storey home is oriented around the view, and to capture the best of each season – for year-round enjoyment and entertaining. Pockets of space have been created throughout for solitary escape while generous, protected spaces are ready to entertain family and friends. A subtle delineation between formal/entertaining spaces and the family zones has been created with a central kitchen, while everyday luxury pervades. Expansive retractable windows and doors invite the natural beauty of the area inside and allow life to transition seamlessly to the outdoors. Materials and hues of the architecture were selected in keeping with nature’s palette.

“Palm Frond Retreat is designed for the family to ‘migrate’ throughout their home depending on the season and time of day. They can follow the sun or avoid it in the heat of Summer,” says Koichi Takada.

Koichi Takada Architects drew inspiration from the palm frond, specifically the way the leaves provide dappled light and shelter to the fruit its tree bears. Applying the same principles, the home was cocooned with symmetrical linear screening, increasing privacy, protecting glazing against solar heat gain and directing site lines toward the tree-lined harbour waterways and beaches. Delivering this connection to water was a key element of the brief as the owners sought a home that offered a sanctuary away from high-pressure careers. Palm Frond Retreat’s materiality draws on the natural context. Inspired by the hues and textures of Sydney’s bush, water and coast. Local sandstone is a feature of the landscaping with 50% indigenous species, and linear screening in a subtle woodgrain adds a texture and warmth to the façade.

Seeking to maximise connection to the outdoors on a sloping parcel of land, entertaining zones and the master suite have south-facing balconies and terraces that are shaded by the house in the heat of summer and take in the panoramic views. Lower ground spaces are more private and link to the sun-soaked infinity pool that overlooks the coastline. To the home’s north, a winter haven – a sunny, sheltered terrace - extends from the kitchen and informal living zones, ensuring access to the outdoors no matter what the season or coastal weather pattern.

“Balmoral Beach is a picturesque location in Sydney, Australia, known for its clear waters and white sandy beach. We wanted to invite nature in, for our clients to feel connected with the environment while enjoying the casual luxury of our architecture – just like being on holidays.” Koichi Takada