Cottage Point House

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Cottage Point House is located in an isolated settlement within Ku-ring-gai National Park on the waterfront of Coal and Candle Creek. The site is oriented east over the shallow bay, facing the weathered horizontal sandstone escarpments of the opposing foreshores from which it draws its inspiration. The house features a massive sandstone base rising out of the hillside which contains cave-like bedrooms, a voluminous rumpus room and the infinity edge swimming pool.  Natural light is drawn into these rooms by means of windows into the base of the pool and a long slot skylight in the hallway.  Perched upon the base are the steel and timber framed living rooms and master bedroom.  Exposed timber and steel structure and a contained courtyard give the house a private but luxurious character, without the sense of ever being fully enclosed. The house wraps around the verandah and pool, like the tendrils of land wrapping around the bay.  The enclosed turfed courtyard is the inner sanctuary of the building, drawing in northern light.

Architect: Richard Cole Architecture

Engineer: Barrenjoey Consulting Engineers

The steep nature of the site created challenges for the engineers and builder, with significant work going into the design and construction of the foundations and base of the building. The isolated nature of Cottage Point within vast tracts of bushland makes it particularly prone to bushfire, so the timber used throughout the house had to be fire resistant.  Carefully sourced plantation grown merbau from the Solomon Islands was used for its fire resistance, durability, rich dark colour and cost effectiveness.  The exposed rafters and steel framing provide a light, skeletal character, contrasting against the weighty, closed nature of the base of the building.  

The house features a massive sandstone base rising out of the hillside which contains cave-like bedrooms, a voluminous rumpus room and the infinity edge swimming pool. Natural light is drawn into these rooms by means of windows into the base of the pool and a long slot skylight in the hallway. Perched upon the base are the steel and timber framed living rooms, kitchen and master bedroom. The exposed timber and steel structure and a contained courtyard give the house a private but sumptuous character, without the sense of ever being fully enclosed.

The house features hardwood merbau floors, cladding, windows and doors, exposed rafters and hoop pine veneer plywood eaves lining.  The exposed rafters contrast against the hoop pine veneer plywood used for the ceilings throughout the upper floor.  Together with the steel framing, the rafters provide a light, skeletal character, opposed to the weighty, closed nature of the base of the building.  Merbau veneer was used for the joinery, providing a consistency of colour and texture throughout the house. The kitchen was designed as a central element  and circulation space between the two pavilions of the house. It is a light filled space with wide sliding hardwood servery windows opening out to the pool and the view to Coal and Candle Creek on one side and to the courtyard on the other. Custom designed joinery has been installed throughout. Merbau veneer was used for the joinery, providing a consistency of colour and texture throughout the house.  The bathrooms were designed to be light, open and luxurious. Designer fittings were used throughout and careful attention to detail was paid to the custom made joinery.

Timbers used in this case study:

Structure

Framing: 

Structural steel frame, expressed DAR KDHW merbau timber rafters with Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 finish

 

Exterior

Decking: 

140x25 KDHW merbau timber decking with pencil round edges

 

Windows: 

DAR KDHW merbau timber framed windows and doors.

 

External Cladding: 

200mm wide DAR KDHW merbau channel profile weatherboards with Sikkens Cetol Filter 7 finish

 

Interior

Flooring: 

Nom. 145mm select tongue and grooved secret nailed merbau flooring finished with Synteko Natural.

Internal Paneling: 

12mm select channel joint merbau 140x20 DAR KDHW panel boards with Sikkens Cetol 7 finish

 

Doors: 

door with merbau timber veneer and clear lacquer finish.

 

Joinery Cabinetry: 

Custom designed and made joinery with merbau timber veneer  and clear lacquer finish

 

Interior Stairs: 

40mm thick merbau timber treads and risers with Synteko natural finish to match flooring.

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