Sculptural Icon – Norfolk Burleigh Heads by Koichi Takada Architects

Words by Bronwyn Marshall
Photography by Paul Bamford, Scott Burrows & Cieran Murphy
Styling by Mim Design
Development Forme

Resembling a modern sculptural pinecone, Norfolk Burleigh Heads is shaped with overlapping organic balcony forms that jut out and form a soft edge to an otherwise unanimated building. A new addition to a previously undeveloped area, the new mixed-use residential development, designed by Koichi Takada Architects and Mim Design sits alongside a preserved strip of Australian coastline and opens generously to the nearby beach.

In much the same way as a pinecone opens and closes to protect its seeds, the team designed the building to open and close, allowing it to breathe with operable elements that enable residents to temper light, air and solar gains throughout the day.

Balanced through timber and glass in a refined and considered way, the building could be placed anywhere.

With a soft organic quality to the outer shell, the inner workings of each residence have been highly tuned to respond to the coastal environment. But instead of composing a lightweight structure, as is common for coastal construction, there is a weightiness to the building. Balanced through timber and glass in a refined and considered way, the building could be placed anywhere. The combining of both natural and lifestyle focuses ensures the building is responsive to the aspects of nature it is surrounded by, creating an almost ‘living sculpture’ in the process.

Spread over 10 levels, the complex includes 15 apartments as well as a series of supporting lifestyle offerings throughout. The gym, outdoor pool and sauna together create the feeling of an all-inclusive hotel environment (what’s not to love?), while access to the nearby beach pulls residents to a different environment. Wellbeing is a distinct focus and is embedded into each residence, acting as an extension of the area’s love of an outdoor lifestyle. With the inclusion of various sustainable initiatives, the architecture works to regulate its interior environment and keep its residents comfortable, enabling the building to respond to the changing climate throughout the year.

The combining of both natural and lifestyle focuses ensures the building is responsive to the aspects of nature it is surrounded by, creating an almost ‘living sculpture’ in the process.

Framing views, the design of each apartment is a celebration of its location. With clear and uninterrupted visual access to the impeccable coastline it abuts, Norfolk Burleigh Heads is a truly unique and site-specific response, set to become an icon all of its own.