On a very steep cliffside site overlooking Tamarama Beach, with an existing small bungalow on the lowest level, our brief was to design a new building, structured into various zones, to showcase the spectacular ocean views.

Creating horizontal space for the build required the challenging task of excavating large sections of sandstone rock. To prevent the occurrence of potential waterproofing problems in the future, our design allowed water to seep through the rock and pass under the building.

The residence was designed with bedrooms and ensuites on the lowest level. The living level above incorporates kitchen and dining, a separate lounge, and a study, with a play area opening out onto a private deck. A rooftop garden on the next level captures the full effect of the site’s uninterrupted ocean views. The upper level is occupied by a private office, with a two-car garage at street level.

The entrance features a viewing gallery giving visitors the opportunity to pause and take in the panoramic ocean vista before descending into the building. The stairs progress through the building opening to the living spaces with a separate stair down to the bedrooms and garden levels. Custom timber wall panels were designed to close off a level for the safety of small children.

When the house was sold at a later date, we were engaged by the new owners to install a dumb waiter at the rear of the building and create a swimming pool and spa at the garden level.

On the two occasions the property has changed hands, it has achieved record sales for the area.