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Coastal Home

HIA-CSR ACT and Southern NSW Housing and Kitchen & Bathroom Awards

Winner: Bellevarde Constructions

Nestled in the trees of Tathra beachfront along Australia's Sapphire Coast, Welsh + Major Architects designed Seagrass House as a robust house in a valley prone to bushfire. The Architects took cues from the surrounding landscape when designing Seagrass House, particularly the colours and textures of the rocky headland which are reflected in the hues and forms of corbelled brickwork. Site and access posed several challenges for the Bellevarde team in the construction of Seagrass House. There was only narrow and steep one-way access to the site. The site itself slopes 30 degrees or more. As using a crane was not a possibility, materials were generally lifted and moved via hard labour. Bellevarde used innovative construction techniques to achieve the finest construction detail resolution and finish to the ambitious and deceptively simple architectural aspects of Seagrass House. For example, this house showcases Australian Krause Bricks. As these bricks are hand-made, they vary in size and colour, therefore selecting and laying them perfectly is a heavily-involved process. These bricks were laid to the soffit of the cantilevered section over the external corbelled brickwork feature of the house. They were also hung above the main entry to the house with no visible support. To accomplish these elements, the Bellevarde team used steel rods through the bricks amidst complicated steel framing. Throughout the house where brick walls meet, such as external wall corners and the internal fireplace wall feature, the Bellevarde team hand-picked colour-matching bricks and achieved exceptionally acute angles of brick to complete wall angles to an outstanding and consistent level. The external stair treads that lead from the house entry down to the lower terrace are off-form concrete and appear suspended in an architectural arrangement. It is no debate that the joinery was built and finished to an extraordinary quality. Bellevarde continues to embrace the opportunities of working with innovative designs by many leading Australian and international architects. Overall this residence is an immaculately crafted home and a prime example of an achievement made possible when many parties work towards a central goal.
HIA Awards
Winner 2022 ACT Coastal Home

Coastal Home finalists:

  • Bermagui Building & Construction
  • Rettke Builders

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