Palm Beach Blue is a new house perched upon a steeply sloping site at Observation Point, Palm Beach, NSW. The project is a holiday home for a large inter-generational family, designed by Benn + Penna Architecture with the flexibility to accommodate a variety of occupants in short term stays. The home contains 4 bedrooms, each separated by open space, along with a variety of living spaces, both inside and out. The site is situated just beneath the ridgeline of a natural rock shelf, with majestic to die for views of Pittwater Basin and Barrenjoey Headland that are framed by the lush vegetation typical of this peninsula.
The project is best understood as drawing from the landscape, enabling the occupants to immerse themselves in their surroundings. The restrained architectural form and deliberately modest built imprint ensure the client’s requirements for a comfortable and relaxed holiday experience don’t conflict with the natural beauty of the site.
The clients have a long family history in the area and the new house replaces a cabin built by the family’s previous generation that was typical of the post-war era. Various fragments of the original cabin are retained, whilst others are reimagined to provide a subtle link with the past. An existing stone terrace is retained and extended along the landscape contour, establishing a platform for the new house to stretch across the views whilst seemingly growing from the nearby cliff-face.
The main building contains the bedrooms and is conceived as an elevated timber canopy, punctured by voids that channel light and air through the house whilst separating the bedrooms to provide additional privacy. Openings on this level are more discreet and playfully frame views both inside and outside the home.