Discover a striking brutalist house on a remote island in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. A masterpiece of architecture blending with its environment.
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia (declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO) is a world-renowned destination for its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and diverse marine life. A region that, although distinctive for its beauty, has those rustic and natural characteristics that are barely suited to modern life.
But amidst this picturesque landscape, there stands a brutalist house that is a striking contrast to its surroundings, but that at the same time blends perfectly with them.
The Story Behind This Project
The owner of this brutalist house, Steve Wilson, is an Australian businessman (and nature lover) who had developed a special connection to the land after his own father took him there, this being the man who drew up the original plan on which he later built the home.
So following his father’s design, Steve trusted such an important project to architect James Davidson, who he has known and trusted for several years, and who made sure that this brutalist house was both beautiful and safe, minding that it needed to be functional and protective against the cyclonic winds and difficult weather conditions the area often experiences.
30 years into this project, the house was at last finalized, featuring an exterior made of concrete and perforated copper plates (making it a sturdy and attractive structure), as well as narrow windows to the south and west which resemble gills and are placed to let in the sea breeze and provide ventilation, even on the hottest days.
The Ground Floor
Moving on to the interior of this brutalist house, on the ground floor we can find the living room, which comes across as a beautiful transition between the indoors and the outdoors, thanks to the big glass windows that open up to the garden and the use of stone floors (rosewood and copper) which provide warmth to the residence and serve as a neutral backdrop to emphasize the vivid hues of the breathtaking natural surroundings.
Contrasting with these architectural features, this room is decorated with a modern L-shaped muted blue sofa and a set of vintage chairs, which call our attention to the earthy color palette in which this design is centered, reminiscent of the nature-centric approach taken on this project.
Interestingly enough, the bedroom is also located on the ground floor, being designed to frame the view of the nearby beach. Here, the contemporary furnishing allows for comfort to shine through, a theme that is followed by the amazing modern decor of the outdoor area.
The Top Floor
Going up the central curved staircase that links the two levels of the house, and after admiring the large oculus at the top of the stairs that allows us to track the positions of the sun and moon, we find ourselves in the most important room of this brutalist house (and the owner’s favorite).
This open space, all-in-one, living room, dining room, and kitchen, features a polished and refined concrete floor that honors the granite countertop used in the construction of this brutalist house, and which again contrasts with the contemporary furniture that fills and gives life to the space (from the uniquely shaped sofas and abstract stained rug in the living area to the soft round dining tables and chairs in the dining section).
But the element that anchors the space together is the large emerald quartzite kitchen island, which with its natural stone with subtle green tones, complements the tones of the exterior and the coral reef, then again building on the biophilic trend that blends this house with its surroundings.
Furthermore, this brutalist house also features an outdoor pool that offers views of the beach, as well as a spa and a roof terrace that complete it and offer a 360° view of the landscape.
A Functional and Aesthetically Stunning Place to Call Home
While this brutalist house on the Great Barrier Reef may not be to everyone’s taste, it is an impressive example of how architecture can be used to create a bold statement in even the most challenging of environments. Its raw, uncompromising design stands in stark contrast to the natural beauty of its surroundings, and yet somehow manages to complement and enhance it at the same time.
In that sense, this brutalist house is a testament to the ingenuity and creativity of its designer, James Davidson, and the determination of its owner, Steve Wilson, who waited almost 30 years to see his dream come to fruition, resulting in a functional and aesthetically stunning place to call home.
So if you want to know more about brutalist architecture and how to incorporate its unique style into your own home, check out our article on “Brutalist Interior Design And How To Bring It Inside Your Home“, to discover how to use raw materials and textures to create a bold and edgy aesthetic, and learn tips on how to balance the industrial elements with softer touches to make your space feel inviting and comfortable.
Source: Elisa Mencarelli