Pacific House: Where Contemporary and Neo-Classicism Meet on a Sydney Cliffside
Introducing Pacific House, a contemporary residence located in Sydney, Australia. Designed by Alexander & Co. in 2022, Pacific House has been transformed from its 1990s concrete-framed cliffside dwelling into a five-bedroom home that is perfect for family life.
The design of the house was inspired by the client’s European Story of Origin and optimized for views from each room. The exterior facades feature terraces, gardens, balconies and planted edges while inside you can find ceiling details that are focal points throughout each room. Despite complex construction demands due to coastal exposure, Pacific House was eventually breathing new life into an old maid allowing her once again to feel both then & now aged & contemporary ready for her next 30 or so years!
About Pacific House
Pacific House: Transforming a 1990s Concrete-Framed Cliffside Dwelling
When we were tasked with transforming Pacific House, an existing concrete-framed cliffside dwelling from the 1990s, we knew that it was an opportunity to deliver something special. Our client, a young professional family, wanted the home to reflect their European Story of Origin and be able to accommodate their children and the practicalities of family life.
Modifying Exterior Building Envelope
We started by replanning the dwelling, adding external amenities including landscape works and a swimming pool (15.24 m), as well as modifying portions of the exterior building envelope such as doors and windows, cladding, entries, external decks, facades and pergolas. The five-bedroom home has been transformed into a contemporary space that is materially rich and performative for family living.
Creating Optimal Room Logic
The design vernacular of Pacific House is inspired by our client’s story but was also shaped by practical considerations such as views from each room and optimising room logic. We orientated the plan so that there would be two sides – one for meals, swimming and play for the children; one for adults to contemplate watching the ocean. The breakfast nook overlooks the pool length creating an inviting atmosphere in what is otherwise a neoclassic formality in design.
Combining Contemporary & Neo-Classicism
The facades are white with textured contrast provided by flowing green planting while steel beams support larger concrete openings within the plan dressed in timber adding purposeful detail without sacrificing structural integrity of existing masonry walls. The exterior facades contain terraces, gardens, balconies and planted edges while inside ceiling heights lead us to ensure finishes including ceiling details are focal points throughout each room. The overall effect is one of Mediterranean inspired monolith in draping green – combining contemporary elements with neo-classicism yet retaining its youthfulness throughout.
Overcoming Challenges Along The Way
Although faced with complex construction demands due to coastal exposure during high winds and lashing storms which saw construction start and stop several times mid-way through fit out process; manufacture delays; supply chain failure extending build time frames; neighbourhood tensions rising & falling – eventually Pacific House was breathing new life into an old maid allowing her once again feel both then & now aged & contemporary ready for her next 30 or so years!
Photography by Anson Smart
Visit Alexander & Co.- by Matt Watts