A Robust Simplicity – Gordons Bay House by Popov Bass
Coogee, NSW, Australia

Build Zonie Constructions
Words Bronwyn Marshall

Responding to its context, Gordons Bay House is a fusion of robust resilience and a casual coastal simplicity. Popov Bass combines a series of contrasting elements, both in form and materiality, to propose a design that fully embraces its site and enviable outlook.

Located overlooking the bay, the focus of the design was to propose and deliver a home that spoke to both a casual light-filled coastal sensibility and a resilience against the unwaveringly harsh coastal conditions. The resulting home is expressed with a contemporary simplicity, warmed through select materiality, that evokes a sense of permanence as it anchors to the site through masonry gestures. Through a series of contrasting elements that play out in form and materiality, Popov Bass offers moments of tension and relief.

Located overlooking the bay, the focus of the design was to propose and deliver a home that spoke to both a casual light-filled coastal sensibility and a resilience against the unwaveringly harsh coastal conditions.

Located overlooking Gordons Bay, the focus of the design was to propose and deliver a home that spoke to both a casual light-filled coastal sensibility and a resilience against the unwaveringly harsh coastal conditions.

Built by Zonie Constructions, with landscape by Spirit Level Design, the close and collaborative approach by each team is evident in the refined coming-together of the project’s comprising parts. Set in amongst its unforgiving environmental context, key to the success of the build was the appropriateness of the materiality to the location. The use of concrete slabs, that meet in both vertical and horizontal planes, creates a solid and weighted connected to the site and offers an afront to the coastal conditions. Folded upon entry, each slab is subtly skewed, expressing nuance, and the raw materiality of unfinished concrete internally, acts as a reminder and connection to the harshness of the adjacent sea.

Complementing the concrete, the interior is crafted in a combination of timber and steel, broken with large spanning glass planes. The contrast between these primary elements and the detailing offers a sense of balance between the finishes, sealing and protecting junctions. Openings, recesses, portals and stairs are expressed and finely detailed as tactile interactive components throughout.

Set in amongst its unforgiving environmental context, key to the success of the build was the appropriateness of the materiality to the location.

The internal planning and its deliberate splaying from a central spine is central to connecting all of the active and passive zones of the home. The central hallway connects the home both upward and outward, and acts as a central visual connector to the bay beyond. With subtle level changes throughout, zones are created in some cases, in the absence of walls, through depth and compression. Cohesively binding each of these elements is the presence of natural light in every space. Whether through controlled, minimal openings, or large spans of outward-facing full-height glazing, the connection to the beyond has been considered on every level.

Folded upon entry, each slab is subtly skewed, expressing nuance, and the raw materiality of unfinished concrete internally, acts as a reminder and connection to the harshness of the adjacent sea.

Gordons Bay House combines the expected measured comfort and refinement of a permanent residence with the softer easiness of a coastal occasional abode. The resulting home speaks to a sense of balance and, moreover, expresses its context and fully optimises its location in every sense.

Gordons Bay House combines the expected measured comfort and refinement of a permanent residence with the softer easiness of a coastal occasional abode.
Published 16 May, 2020
Photography  Michael Nicholson
Photographer:  Tom Ferguson
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