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Gull Cottage

24 Jan 2017 by In Building Design

The Design Brief

Tanilba Bay is a sleepy little town on Port Stephens. Situated 30 minutes around the lake from Nelson Bay and 45 minutes from the center of Newcastle, it is almost entirely untouched by tourism despite easily rivalling its nearby neighbours as a picturesque holiday location.

This project embodies the epitopme of relaxed, family gathering and slow, easy leisure time on the lake. Currently the house sits toward the back of the block, close to the lake, and consists of two good sized bedrooms with lake views, a large, central living area and adjoining covered outdoor dining space with views of the lake, a small kitchen with no views or links to the garden, a collection of tiny bathing spaces, two miniscule bedrooms on the garden side of the house, a covered deck acting as a sleep-out and housing three single beds, and a large, north-facing porch that gives onto the cottage's surpisingly large front garden.

The clients are two couples with a combination of five grown up children and their partners. The house therefore currently underaccomodates - and now that almost all of the children are well past school-age, its limited accomodation no longer suits the needs of the extended family. 




The Design Proposal

Fundamentally, the cottage is a temporarily inhabited space, frequented every few months during holiday periods. Its location, site, aspect, and the existing cottage intend to provide for simple accomodation and a ready relationship between built works and landscape at various times of the year and for varying, but typically large groups of people.

Concept Design proposes an integral and prominent connection between the building and landscape. The concept defines a relaxed, seaside atmosphere that encourages gathering and togetherness.

The proposal intends to improve the relationship betwen the existing dwelling and the site by pulling away elements that currently obstruct the connection between indoors and out. The design Concept openly welcomes, engages, and celebrates the landscape.

New built forms are fundamentally linked with the site by way of semi-external circulation spaces and a direct visual link between all habitable sapces and the large north-west facing garden, including its magnificent Angophora tree.

Concept Design is underpinned by four key notions : Sustainability, Durability, Efficiency, and Livability.

The construction process

Gull Cottage is now at practical completion and has had a wonderful summer full of family and friends.

The construction process was seemless - the result of a wonderful construction team and trusting clients. 

Gull Cottage was built by Darren, Ben, and Ash of Butterworth Constructions. Joinery by Dungog Kitchens. Selections, colour, and interiors by Poppy Bevan Design Studio.

Professional photographs of the project will be online soon.


Concept Design

Schematic Design

Schematic Design is inherently built upon the ideas and intentions of Concept Design. It involved the development and refinement of all areas of the project including materiality, planning, and building scale and proportion.