When a couple finally decided to fulfill their dream of living by the beach, they reached out to Sydney-based architecture firm Rolf Ockert Design to bring their vision to life. To make the most of the property’s views that overlook the nearby lagoon and beach of North Curl Curl, the beach home was designed with an “upside down” layout where the living areas are stacked on top of the lower level bedrooms. Energy efficiency was also a key driver in the design of the North Curl Curl House, which is powered with solar energy and built with low-energy, recyclable and low-emission materials throughout.


House next to its neighbors

side view with yard

Located on one half of a new subdivision on a double-size block, the North Curl Curl House enjoys great waterside views as well as privacy thanks to its siting on a quiet street. “Council regulations asked for a steep angled setback from a rather moderate height on, aiming to encourage pitched roof forms,” explains Rolf Ockert Design in their project statement. “We employed that rule differently, designing instead a two-layered roof within the given envelope, gaining light and 360 degree sky views as well as natural breeze and a ceiling height that adds to the feeling of generosity.”

open plan living area

light-filled kitchen

The North Curl Curl House’s “upside down” layout organizes the open-plan living areas on the top floor, with the kitchen occupying the heart of the room. The living room and dining area, which also open up to a large outdoor deck and BBQ area, are placed on the east side of the home to overlook panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The floor includes a study area for the family as well.

Rumpus room on lower level

Downstairs, the master bedroom suite also faces east towards stellar vistas of the Pacific Ocean, while the two bedrooms for the kids take up the central space. On the west side is the rumpus room, which connects to the garden and pool. The two-car garage with laundry and storage is discreetly tucked underground so as not to detract from the views.

lap pool steps

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To ensure energy efficiency, the North Curl Curl House makes use of natural light and ventilation over artificial sources wherever possible. The home is also equipped with a rainwater harvesting system and a solar array. The walls in the lower level of the home were constructed from brick to provide high thermal mass.

+ Rolf Ockert Design

Images by Luke Butterly and Rolf Ockert