Featuring dedicated spaces for adults and children alike, the Pacific House is a residential exercise in splitting up and coming back together to create a cohesive yet carefully zoned home. In doing so, Gockel Architects delivers on what may seem to be a paradox – a sophisticated contemporary home with a family-first mindset.
From the street, a modernist-inspired double-storey volume of horizontal and vertical planes is partially concealed by an established tree in the front yard. In the house beyond, a band of solid concrete separates the ground floor living spaces from the first floor sleeping quarters. Upstairs these are again divided, with a children’s zone to the front and a master suite to the rear. Read together, these demarcations in activity repeatedly appear throughout.
Behind a façade of cascading vegetation and timber-battened screens lies a practical and considered home, located only a stone’s throw from Sunshine Beach in Queensland’s picturesque Noosa. Passing a solid American oak pivot door, a long linear entry divides the house in two. Leading to an open-plan living/dining/kitchen, this split is most readily demarcated by a transition in floor finish. Whilst a cloudy burnished concrete provides a robust surface for the practical amenity area of the kitchen, a soft textured oak announces the arrival of the tranquil living room. Where one space is for culinary creations, the other is for absolute leisure.
To the south-east, a white off-form concrete hearth hovers above a sunken lounge. Behind, a meticulously irregular Rapa Nui wall punctures the space. Extending from a private central courtyard to a shaded rear terrace and pool, this wall opens up the room to the great outdoors. In doing so, the lounge is able to accommodate small intimate gatherings and large sprawling celebrations. In stark contrast to the black powder-coated finish of doors and windows, consciously proportioned sofas comfortably nestle into the double-height space.
Demarcating a zone for cleaning and for clothes, stone tiles and timber floorboards feature in washing areas and robes.
To the north-west, a play of white and black tones takes place once again. This time, a palatially-scaled island bench in porcelain stone panels sits opposite jet black kitchen joinery which extends through to a butler’s pantry. Hanging above the island are a series of funnel-shaped weaved pendant lamps from Uniqwa. Beside this, the dining table is flooded with light via a combination of full-height and clerestory windows.
As with the ground floor, both the adult and children’s suites are materially split underfoot. Demarcating a zone for cleaning and for clothes, stone tiles and timber floorboards feature in washing areas and robes. Here, muted greys in the above counter basins are complemented with chrome-finished tapware from Caroma. Either side of the master ensuite’s floating vanity are a freestanding bathtub and walk-in shower. Above, asymmetrically suspended pendants follow the curve of circular mirrors. A seamless feel is created throughout as vanity materials match those in the kitchen.
As materials, colours, and programs collide and divide, a myriad of conversations begin to take place. And yet, with dedicated spaces for adults and children alike, Gockel Architects have managed to create a cohesive narrative for this young family. Whilst the Pacific House offers many things, it cohesively brings all of them together to offer only one: a home.