The Torquay House brief was unique, create a holiday house based around surfing, and able to accommodate anything from singles up to groups of 20.

Project Name: Torquay House
Studio Name:
buck & simple doers of stuff
Project size:
247 m2
Site size: 522 m2
Completion date: 2019
Building levels: 2
Location: Torquay, Australia
Photography: Steve Young

Torquay House by buck&simple doers of stuff - Sheet1
Kitchen+Dining ©Steve Young

Inspired by a “kiwi batch”, outdoor activities are given priority and provide a centralised social hub. The site is part of a recently subdivided neighbourhood, and the unpredictability of the changing urban context encouraged us to look within the site.

We began by carefully controlling the building aspect and outlook, to create an inwardly focused private oasis. We arranged the building blocks of “little house”, “big house”, and entertainment deck, to enclose a north facing courtyard, the social and environmental heart of the holiday home.

Torquay House by buck&simple doers of stuff - Sheet2
Outdoor Seating ©Steve Young

We developed a subdued but naturally tactile material palette, to create a backdrop for the surf lifestyle, and highlight the geometric play of different building pods. The exterior combines black painted weatherboards walls, with a contrasting earthly coloured tile roof, and exposed natural timber details.

The Living areas are composed of robust and honest finishes, with raw concrete block walls, a burnished concrete floor, and natural timber and copper detailing, reflecting the social atmosphere of the space.

Torquay House by buck&simple doers of stuff - Sheet3
Living Room ©Steve Young

The transition to the more private areas upstairs is accompanied by a calmer material palette, encouraging the user to slow down and move quietly through a more tranquil setting. Subdued timber and concrete flooring, and a white plasterboard background with refined plywood detailing, creates a casual and relaxed atmosphere, allowing the user to unwind after a day at the beach.

Landscaping plays an integral part in connecting the house to its natural setting, with both soft planting and hard surfaces selectively used to create nuanced interweaved outdoor spaces. A timber screen frames a densely planted private courtyard, containing an outdoor shower and surfboard quiver, to create an intimate and practical surf utilities area.


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