Elevated and looking out toward the harbour, Little Manly House follows the fall of the topography while creating a calm and retrained home. Using a textural approach, CHROFI compose a series of contained and stacked forms that open to the natural landscape the home is immersed within.
As a picture of composure, the ascending levels of Little Manly House are each held back from the street edge, creating natural terraces that circulate the inner spaces and encourage interaction. The key to expressing Sydney’s outdoor lifestyle is the ability for internal spaces to feed freely into the outdoor rooms, and this relationship is further accentuated by having façade elements that can be peeled back.
The living area is positioned to spill out into the multiple outdoor spaces, encouraging the outside in with concealed junctions between doors, windows and facade elements.
Wells of light from above provide a diffused connection to illumination while also softening transitions.
While an overall minimal approach to form has carried through into the interior, matched openings of similar proportion ensure reminders of the surroundings are brought into the interior experience of the home. Set among a collective of established trees to the north-east, optimising the orientation for solar gains and ventilation, as well as creating a connection to their mature growth, became a priority in connecting movement between inside and out.
In its unique location, the home becomes a run-off point for much of the incoming rain as it connects to the harbour. Integrating that expression into the design takes the form of the many stepped terraces that follow the descent of the terrain from one side to the other, working with the natural elements instead of against them. A platform for daily life is carved amongst the stepping, becoming the central hub, allowing the dense landscape buffers the site edges.
From the outset, timber is used to define warmth and natural connection while also crafted with precision to elevate the home through detailing.
Inspired by a love of the mid-century movement, a palette of warm timbers is used throughout, with a balance of cooler tones to ensure the spaces feel coastal and grounded. With the linear approach to the forms aligning with a modernist approach, each level becomes defined from the other through the shadows created as the finishes continue.
Sitting as its own retreat, Little Manly House embraces its sloping site to integrate multiple levels while remaining connected to the views on one side, and to a more embedded landscape, on the other. CHROFI overlay their known precision and detailing in proposing a home of lasting resolve while also reflecting the personalities that live within.