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Rubinsztein House, South Coogee, Australia


New South Wales-based architectural practice, Rolf Ockert Design, have designed the Rubinsztein House project. The luxury family home can be found on a small but stunningly located site with panoramic views of the Pacific in South Coogee, Australia.

According to the architects: “To the east (the view and breeze) the house opens up almost completely to large decks overlooking the Pacific, with the sliding doors designed to allow many different configurations for the internal-external connection of spaces. A generous open plan living/dining/kitchen area at entry level is the central focus of the family’s life, with the children’s areas located below and the parent’s master bedroom above.


“A series of stairs, including the open, light main stairs running across the short length of the site, connect all levels effortlessly.

“The main, middle level has a large kitchen, designed to not look too much like a kitchen if not in use, a dining area in its own protruding pocket and the main seating area under a large, curved void. Having been handed very strict height limitations by Council the void creates a generosity in spatial experience that lifts and enlarges the entire house.

“Centerpiece on the upper level is the freestanding bath tub in the middle of the room, allowing arguably the best views from any bathtub anywhere. A large, curved sliding door closes off the otherwise open Bedroom area for acoustic and visual privacy.

“The lower floor is the kid’s realm, accommodating three large bedrooms and a large play area with direct access to the lower garden and pool.

“The client’s original brief asked for an open plan house with a ‘wow factor’ and modern lines and interior design. The house was to be suitable for kids as well as parent’s entertaining, maximising light , natural airflow and, of course, views.   The client gladly states that they “got exactly the house they wanted, just much better”.

“Some design decisions, made on site after, for instance, experiencing the play of light through holes in the roof form work as it was laid, resulted in design features that now pretty much define the house, such as the three skylights  over the void and the ‘holey’ wall to the garage.


“Having been tightly restricted by the small site, the immediately adjoining, terrace-like neighbours and the height restrictions the house is a box.  Inside the box, though, are elements such as the curved void, the flowing timber veneer walls, the large curved sliding wall, the big oceanview bath, the dotted skylights, that express an attitude of fun, of not taking yourself too seriously, matching the clients’ personalities.

“Provision of light and airflow throughout the house became absolute priority. The introduction of the central courtyard allowed direct natural light and air to all rooms in spite of the steep site and the blocked northern aspect. Use of the in-built ceiling heating as well as spot airconditioning is very limited in winter as in summer, helped by the very solid masonry/concrete construction of all walls and slabs, including roof.”

Images courtesy of Rolk Ockert Design

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September 30, 2013 | Property | View comments

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