Byron Bay  Australia

‘I was on holiday in Australia during the 2008 recession there and I noticed a lot of ‘For sale’ signs had gone up on plots at Byron Bay in New South Wales. I spent much of Christmas in the local planning office working out how to get approval for an aspirational house there and ended up in a dialogue that more or less guaranteed planning for my project. It was treated to a crash course in Australian planning!

Byron Bay is remarkable for landscape and beautiful beaches. Despite it being a popular upmarket area, the placement and design of this house creates a sense of isolation and protection.

The original house was a small 1960s affair, intended as a holiday home and rental property. However, with the children grown and more time on their hands, the owner was considering living permanently in Byron Bay.

Our speculative design is set on two levels. You enter via the ground floor , which houses living and dining with an open kitchen. The upper level contains bedrooms and bathrooms. We planned it on a simple form of two open sided boxes sitting at 90 degrees and stacked on top of each other. The upper structure shades the large windows below and there are timber awnings and vertical blades on the upper level.

I submitted the Bryon House design for the Best New Home in Australia contest, but sadly it wasn’t eligible for a prize as it hadn’t yet been built. We have though been approached by an American developer who wants to offer the concept for sale on a site in The Hamptons on Long Island.’