Mona Lane House, Brunswick Heads Home, Australian Real Estate Architecture, NSW Project, Photos
Mona Lane House in Brunswick Heads, NSW
14 Aug 2022
Design: Harley Graham Architects
Location: Brunswick Heads, New South Wales, Australia
Photos: Anson Smart and Michael Nicholson
Mona Lane House, New South Wales
Mona Lane began in 2015 with the client’s vision for riverside retirement in the sleepy suburb of Brunswick Heads, a forever home that was future proof. The clients wished to age in place, without the need for onerous maintenance requirements. The clients wished to age in place, without the need for onerous maintenance requirements.
Part of this enduring vision was the desire to comfortably accommodate the entire family ‘under one roof’ (so to speak), with an additional two dwellings for each of their adult children and grandchildren.
Moving from their long-held family acreage to a suburban environment would inevitably take some adjustment. Flourishing mature gardens, the fruits of a lifetime of labour, were to be traded for apartment living- a concept that initially was difficult to reconcile for our clients, and became key to the design outcome. The new home was to embody an immersive garden experience of riverside serenity, rather than feel like an ‘apartment’.
Brunswick heads is a small community full of charm. A popular destination for family holiday makers, Bruns’ is characterised by life on the river inlet. Increased interest in the area has seen new development begin to populate the existing fabric of low-rise 60’s holiday shacks and vintage motels.
Coveted as the 1075 sqm north facing river frontage may be, the site presented challenges in addressing potential future flood events. Negotiating floor levels against flood planning heights, large programmatic needs, overshadowing, and a 9m height limit became a delicate balancing act.
Testing the confines of an existing DA, and tasked with the challenge of creating an arguably large building in a town cherished for its low-density character, our overarching aim was to soften the impact of the building envelope through some key strategies:
1. A dark exterior 2. Refined edges 3. A cloak of vegetation.
Dark timber cladding, stacked floor plates and tapered fine edges reference the client’s passion for Japan- a key part of their brief. The introduction of curved language in key moments further add softness to the building mass and moments of delight. Cloaking the floor plates in vegetation assist in concealing the bulk of the building, offering amenity to both occupants and the public domain.
Mona Lane required a high level of integration from a multi-disciplinary team. The building presented many challenges that took careful coordination and consideration. Fine concrete planes supporting abundant lush gardens were a challenge embraced by both builder and landscape architect, who were invested in the project from its very inception. Specialised precision formwork was crafted for many bespoke components – curved soffit edges, curved stairs, and columns which wherever possible, were exposed as finished face components.
A rooftop PV system and water tank with over 30,000L capacity are incorporated, which combined with a robust material palette ensures sustainability for generations to come. An elevator to the upper floor apartment considers future assisted mobility concerns.
Mona Lane was a project with long-term vision. Embedded among the small neighbourhood of Brunswick heads, this building presents a considered yet provocative precedent for future density in the shire.
Mona Lane in Brunswick Heads, New South Wales – Building Information
Completion date: 2021
Photography: Anson Smart and Michael Nicholson
Mona Lane, Brunswick Heads New South Wales images / information received 140822 from Harley Graham Architects
Location: Brunswick Heads, NSW, Australia
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