Amazing Tweed Coast architectural designs recognised

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Castles on Kingscliff. Photo: Andy Macpherson

TWO LOCAL architects were recently recognised for designing three extraordinary buildings across the Tweed Coast at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2017 Gold Coast/Northern Rivers Regional Architecture Awards held on Saturday, March 4, on the Gold Coast.

Pat Twohill Designs in association with Twohill and James was recognised with a Regional Commendation for the St Ambrose Primary School design.

The awards description said St Ambrose Primary School is an “impressive exploration of modern learning facilities wrapped around an open, grassed central courtyard”.

“The buildings are clever and elegant in organisation, a pure and simple material pallet results in uncluttered spaces and opportunities for the children’s work to be expressed.”

St Ambrose Primary School. Photo: Christopher Frederick Jones

The second Tweed architect to be recognised was Scott Carpenter who received a Regional Commendation for Luke and Amanda’s Beach House at Kingscliff and a second Award Citation for Castles on Kingscliff.

The Weekly caught up with architect and business owner Scott Carpenter to find out more about his inspiration for the homes and some of the challenges.

“Castle’s on Kingscliff started about 25 years ago, when the Castle family purchased a modest weatherboard holiday home on the crest of Kingscliff Hill with westerly views to the Border Ranges and to the north-east over the beach,” he said.

“They lived and worked in Oman where they raised three boys and spent their weekends fossicking in the desert for ancient fossils and artefacts.

“Their home in Kingscliff was their connection to Australia and as views from the original home were inevitably built out it was their dream to retire to the site and build an iconic home that would become a family legacy.

“The pride of their collection were two huge nautilus shells which became the inspiration for the helical stair case – the central sculptural element to the home.”

Mr Carpenter said the design presented a range of difficulties.

“Occupying a small corner site, the home is set out on three levels connected by a central stair,” he said.

“The concept was to create a one-bedroom apartment on the middle level for the Castle’s with a two-bedroom, ‘hose-out holiday home’ for their two sons and their families to use from time to time.

“The third level observatory serves dual purposes; one as an ‘escape’ to read, enjoy views and solitude, the second as a place for family to reunite around the resurrected Omani bar, itself a showcase of their collection, and reminisce upon memories collected and create new ones.”

Luke & Amanda’s Beach House was presented with a brief to design a ‘Hamptons’ inspired beach house Mr Carpenter said.

Luke & Amanda’s Beach House. Photo: Andy Macpherson

“We felt it more appropriate to derive from this the key design principles that could instead relate to both the Queenslander typology and the established beach shack vernacular,” he said.

“The result is an elegant nod to an assumed ‘style’ with a contemporary Australian ingenuity aligned to the sub-tropical climate.”

For the Beach House, Mr Carpenter said the planning related to the constraints of a long and narrow site, with natural light and ventilation a main priority.

“The built form is a combination of substantial elements that can respond to the rigors of a harsh beachside environment and lightweight materials that together create a rich yet restrained result,” he said.

“The exterior prioritises simple lines, gable forms and symmetry and work together with the high lofted ceilings and thoughtfully positioned window openings to unify the design.”

Mr Carpenter said the awards and nominations in the AIA Awards was testament to his hardworking team.

“Having the opportunity to nominate two entries into the AIA Awards for 2017 is a great testament to our talented and hardworking team at Scott Carpenter Architect,” he said.

“Both projects were a collaborative effort between the clients, our team and two exceptional builders in Steve Kerr and Hammerhead Building Projects. So, the award nominations are a nod to all involved and the accolades duly shared.”

Mr Carpenter finished by saying the Tweed Coast has become a melting pot for some “very talented architect’s and a showcase of exemplary residential work”.

“You don’t have to look far for inspiration and the bar is continually raised,” he said.

“The high level of design has enticed a good handful of talented and quality builders and when you pair clients with the right architect and builder, exceptional results follow.”

See next week’s edition for an interview with Pat Twohill.