Clareville is a west-facing strip of coastline fronting the Pittwater Estuary north of Sydney. This spectacular setting underpinned the design, with the house set by the location and orientation of 4 main rooms (living, studio and two bedrooms). The volumes of these spaces are diagrams of the desired view and were determined by precise mathematical measurement of the relation between the site and views in both plan and section. More immediate constraints such as the location of significant trees further defined the geometry and the footprint.
The connections to the site and the street were developed from the overlay of a meandering path which negotiated the considerable level change between street and water. This path is an amplification of the existing means of traversing the site – jumping from rocky ledges to flat areas of undergrowth – and takes cues from it in the resolution of volumes and materials.
The main volume of the house is blinkered by fattened timber walls for privacy to the neighbours and to further intensify the views across Pittwater. The roof canopy completes the system of custom facades – rolling with the geometry below and splitting to allow light to enter. The canopy of the roof engages with surrounding trees and thus completes the transformation of the site, in a manner which preserves the essential qualities that led the clients to make it their home.