BGD Architectsdesigned the Amalfi Drive Residence in Queensland, Australia.
This river front design is located on an older established residential island that is undergoing redevelopment. Intimately designed by the architect for his young active family, the residence reflects their dynamic outdoor lifestyle. With easy access to the river, the house draws towards the southern waterfront and turns away from the street.
This residence was a chance for the architect to experiment and play with fresh ideas. Aiming to exploit natural lighting and impeding views, cross ventilation to the South was also a priority. An open plan maximising entertaining spaces was preferred to cater for regular gatherings. Exploration of materials and finishes, including the use of off-form concrete and heavy stucco render, are in contrast with warm New Guinea rosewood cladding on the exterior. Presenting itself as a clean, contemporary design, visitors are made aware of the mixture of chosen distinct materials from street front.
A slim wet edge swimming pool is placed on the eastern side, adjacent to the strip of the neighbouring public parkland. This 25m pool forms a secure edge and acts as a moat between public and private. Windows on the Eastern side frame the outdoor trees, bringing the outdoor inside.
Journey towards the entry takes you down through a portico to the side of the site, formed by a series of crisp recycled timber columns. This leads to a 2 metre wide pivoted entrance door in the centre of the plan. Opening up to a low timber lined ceiling hallway, it soon uncovers an elevated 2 storey area perpendicular to the river. Here, visitors are instantly exposed to the exaggerated river view, sweeping from the southeast to southwest including the Broadbeach skyline. In the centre of the residence stands a set of captivating staircase that features concrete stringer and cantilevered timber treads. Internal spaces continue with the mixture of materials, where the raw structure has been left exposed in places to contrast with the more refined applied finishes of marble surfaces, bluestone flooring and blackbutt timber.
Open planned living zones are on the lower level while the upper level is reserved for bedrooms. Separated by the entry void, upstairs is divided into two wings, defining adult and children space. The children’s wing can also be completely closed off, while their balcony to the street front acts as their activity deck. Fixed with aqua, blue and white louvres, privacy from the public can be controlled. Simultaneously this allows cross ventilation and Northern daylight to penetrate through, creating a magical and colourful space for the restless youths. This experimentation with coloured louvres expresses the relationship between water and the property. At the same time it gives the junior boys a sense of ownership of the space filled with their favourite colour.
Glazing in the corner of the lounge opens up fully to the outdoor entertainment spaces. Two storey high timber columns supporting a flat roof with circular void invites visitors to the outdoor daybed and BBQ area. Coated with polished concrete, the backyard terrace asserts a raw and low maintenance finish.
Horizontals are also a design feature, accentuated through the banding of materials, concrete upstands, flat roof together with swimming pool are also a feature to the architect’s design.