A throwback to mid-century modernism; classic volumes, lines and details permeate this mona vale residence. Approached to increase and improve the living areas and connectivity with the outdoors within a beautifully presented coastal home in sydney’s northern beaches, our design methodology was to respect the era of the existing structure, while maximising efficiency with a contemporary arrangement and improving the building’s environmental credentials.

Project Name: d+k house
Studio Name:
buck&simple doers of stuff
Location: mona vale, nsw, Australia
Photography: Simon Whitbread
Completion date: 2016

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Living Room ©Simon Whitbread

Driven by our clients’ love of gardening and a minimalist but tactile ethos, the design evolved to centre around a deep soil green roof.

The planning process involved relocating the living areas to the lower floor to create greater connectivity to the generous rear yard, and reconfiguring the private spaces upstairs to take advantage of views through the newly created green roof in the foreground.

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Seating Space ©Simon Whitbread

Lightly coloured, textured brickwork is used both internally and externally to define the new volume, while a timber coffered ceiling vaults over. The palette is sparse and robust, allowing the clients’ artwork to form the focal point of each space.

Construction focused on traditional building techniques intertwined with contemporary detailing, combining double brick cavity walls with generous sized custom timber-framed glazing. The green roof is structurally supported by an exposed, white, coffered timber ceiling, that provides articulation and a play of light when viewed from the living areas below.

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View of the Kitchen ©Simon Whitbread

The house is allowed to breathe and take advantage of the favourable climate through a combination of the green roof’s dense thermal mass shielding the interiors from heat gain, and high level operable windows generating ample cross ventilation.

The d+k house is a culmination of context sensitive design and modernist simplicity. With the interplay of tactile materiality and integrated landscaping, inhabitants are connected to the natural environment on an intimate scale, the resulting house sitting comfortably in its surroundings enhancing the daily life of its residents.


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