Construct Central Coast

Waterside winner

Beautiful design brought to life with technical precision and a keen eye for detail: soak up the laid-back luxury of the 2018 HIA–CSR Australian Home of the Year.

Photo courtesy Construct Central Coast

Author

Gabrielle Chariton

From the rustic sandstone sea wall to the towering palms swaying in the breeze, every part of this seven-bedroom, absolute waterfront holiday home is picture-perfect. Outside it’s all about tactile white-on-whites, weathered timber and succulent greenery. The interiors are awash in space, light, and the laid-back perfection of a palette of marble, linen, oak and rattan.

Gracing a 2500-square metre patch of prime real estate at Wagstaffe on the NSW Central Coast, the Australian Home of the Year was constructed by Hunter region builder and HIA member Construct Central Coast to a design by Dennis Rabinowitz at JPR Architects. With its resort styling and views across the sparkling expanse of Brisbane Water, the home epitomises easy-breezy luxury coastal living. But it took 18 months of highly technical construction to achieve such laid-back beauty.

The waterfront block, originally part of a larger property, was empty save for a one-bedroom boat shed, which has been retained and modified. However, the extreme proximity to tidal water necessitated some fairly intense site preparation.

‘There was an existing sea wall, but it was dilapidated, so first we had to get in and build a new sandstone sea wall … we had to work with the tides which made things quite challenging,’ explains Daniel Syddall, owner of Construct Central Coast.

The second stage of preparation was dewatering the site and encasing an existing sewer main that ran beneath the footprint of the house and pool.

‘The de-watering system takes the table water out of the property so you can dig the trenches and expose the sewer, without the banks collapsing and the existing sewer line floating,’ Daniel says.

‘The sewer was deep, so we had to get in with machines then hand-labour to get the job done.’

Construct Central Coast
A fresh, distinctly Australian take on the classic Hamptons aesthetic
Photo courtesy Construct Central Coast
Construct Central Coast Photo courtesy Construct Central Coast

To minimise impact on the surrounding homes, Daniel utilised continuous strip footings and screw piles in tandem with a lightweight construction method. The home was built using core-filled blockwork, and clad with white 300mm James Hardie Scyon boards for a crisp, efficient and modern take on the classic Australian weatherboard. A solar PV system is included, and the project achieved a BASIX 41 Energy/41 Water rating.

The house is designed to accommodate extended family groups and includes five ensuite bedrooms; a bunk room and an infants’ room; three indoor living spaces; numerous alfresco areas; and an outdoor jungle-gym for the children. The main living room opens onto an expanse of decking which steps down to an infinity-edge inground pool, and beyond that, a small sandy beach.

The seamless indoor-outdoor integration throughout the home is facilitated by oversize floor-to-ceiling glazed doors (up to 7.5 metres wide) that roll back into concealed wall pockets. These called for absolute precision during construction.

‘All the pocket doors and all the floor tracks are zero-threshold detailing, so you have the same floor finish externally and internally,’ Daniel says.

‘There was a lot of drainage work we had to do prior to installing the doors. The tracks and the glazed doors have to be installed prior to finishing the wall finishes, so everything’s got to be done to the millimetre and perfectly so that once you close off the walls, the doors are ready to roll.’

Inside and out, the pared-back architectural detailing and choice of materials deliver a fresh, distinctly Australian take on the classic Hamptons aesthetic. Daniel says tallowwood was selected for the outdoor decks, which will weather to a mellow silvery grey.

‘There’s 1.5 linear kilometres of timber decking in there,’ he says.

‘It was a great build, with great clients and a great architect’

‘For consistency, we wanted it all out of the same mill and batching, and we also wanted larger thicknesses of the tallowwood for the stair treads. We sourced it all from Mitre 10 at Kincumber.’

The crisp, clean lines of meticulously finished bulkheads, white VJ wall panelling, hand-painted VJ joinery and engineered oak flooring contrast with organic textures and natural finishes. Many of these carry through from the exteriors to enhance the connection to the outdoors. An irregular Dulux Acra-Tex render, described by the architect as ‘drunken render’, creates a tactile softness to feature walls in the living room. Eucalypt lata sticks were bound into battens and whitewashed for a rustic roof cladding over the boardwalk, carport, and the lanai (the external pergola).

The moment the plans for this home crossed his desk, Daniel says he knew it was going to be a special build, and the owners were ‘blown away’ with the finished result.
‘It was a great build, with great clients and a great architect. You can’t deliver something like that unless everyone’s all-in on these projects.’

After 15 years of HIA membership, this is the first project Daniel has entered in the HIA awards – and it’s fair to say it’s been a runaway success. After winning 2017 HIA–CSR Hunter Home of the Year, the project then won Custom Built Home at this year’s national awards, and went up against six other major category winners to take out 2018
HIA–CSR Home of the Year.

The win represents a positive turning point for Construct Central Coast.

‘There are only a limited number of builders who can do these projects, and we’re happy and excited to be recognised now in that category,’ Daniel says.

‘We were thrilled to build it. To take a 2D set of plans and transform them into such a creation — for me that’s the most exciting thing, it keeps me interested in the industry.’

At a glance

Awards: 2018 HIA–CSR Australian Home of the Year partnered by CSR and 2018 HIA Australian Custom Built Home partnered by Stramit

Builder: Construct Central Coast

Location: Hunter, NSW

Energy Rating: BASIX 41/41

Inclusions: Powder-coated pivot system shutters, custom glazed aluminium panels, white granite driveway, treated pine fencing painted white

Materials: Terracotta tiles, reinforced concrete pavers, timber stairs, European oak floorboards, white joinery.

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