Ocean Home

Oct/Nov 2015

Ocean Home magazine is for people who love the luxury oceanfront lifestyle, from home design and decor to world-class beach resorts, villas, hotels, and destinations.

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50 O C E A N H O M E M A G . C O M | O c t o b e r + N ov e m b e r 2 0 1 5 Its exterior lacks the classic verandas and outdoor spaces of traditional tropical dwellings, designed instead with vast openings that frame the breathtaking views. "I'd always wanted this industrial-style concrete house; I just liked the idea of it," says Graham. "It's also maintenance-free. Timber in the tropics just means an endless job of maintaining it. It's unusual for the region, but there are a few more like it now because people are waking up to how clever concrete is for the tropics." For Wright, the use of his favored material combines common sense and aesthetics. His clients wanted to feel protected from the elements on the only hill in Port Douglas – in short, the brief was for a "beautiful bunker." "We get annual cyclone activity and, with climate change, it's only getting more frequent and intense," says Wright. "e idea was to provide a safe and secure retreat. If it's really intense, steel can warp and bend and timber will just splinter and shatter." e steep site's biggest challenge was that it lies directly below a tourist lookout, where busloads come to gaze at the vista. e main concern was to not interrupt the public view of the beach. "at limited us to a single-story development, which suited Peter and Claire just fine as they didn't want any steps. It became about maximizing this living platform, so to speak, which we cantilevered right off the hill," he adds. is undertaking required some structural gymnastics. Concealed below the cantilevered platform are enormous concrete piers, which anchor the house to the hill, and the workings of sustainable initiatives, including a siphonic drainage system that harvests water from the roof. e home's exterior is clad with muted dark bronze aluminium that blends unobtrusively with its surroundings – a hard exterior much like a shell, says Wright. And like any shell, the interior is not revealed to the outside world. Offering complete privacy, the interior is one big, open-plan living area with dominant use of polished Pilbara stone in tables, kitchen benches and walls. e stone's grey hues chime with the concrete. Even the master bedroom, with a receding wall, is open to the view. A door system prefaces the outdoor platform and folds back to the walls, ensuring minimal interruption to the panorama. In the year she has been living here, Graham says she has closed the doors twice. Even though other properties are abutted close on the hill, the home feels completely alone. ere is no evidence of any neighbors and certainly no evidence of the daily stream of hundreds of people who trek up to the viewing platform just 60 feet behind the house. And what do they see as they look down onto e Edge and beyond? A beautiful curiosity, seamlessly part of an unparalleled view. Set in concrete Architect Charles Wright designed the interiors as open-plan living spaces that offer complete privacy while capturing the extraordinary coastal views. THE DETAILS For more information, visit wrightarchitects.com.au and australia.com. Coasting C H A R L E S W R I G H T

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