Drop-dead gorgeous

Troppo Architects’ Horseshoe Bay House sits on a 9-acre block of mature native tropical bush and parkland a few minutes’ walk back from the magnificent sweep of north-facing Horseshoe Bay on Queensland’s Magnetic Island. Magnetic Island lies within the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

Horseshoe Bay is one of a handful of beaches on the tropical east coast of Australia that faces north. Glorious sunsets are one of its delights. Facing north, and being on the north side of the mountainous island, the house enjoys sun from first light until sunset.

It was the potential for a tropical garden with glades and walkways, with minimum disturbance to what was naturally there, that attracted the owners to the site.

The property, which lies in the centre of the settlement of Horseshoe Bay, is zoned Low-density Residential and has three shaped driveway entrances. The house occupies a space that is out of public view in the southeast sector of the block so as to maintain total privacy.

The three-pavilion house was designed by Zammi Rohan and Geoff Clark, then of Troppo Architects, Townsville. The house has all the hallmarks of Troppo’s landmark style of architecture and was celebrated when the firm won the Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2014.

The building relates to its environment in a delicate and respectful way. It is tight and compact and doesn’t spread itself over the site. The north-facing roofs salute the trees, the pool is part of the house rather than the garden.

The structural steel design is light, elegant, and strong, with great care taken in its detailing. From any place in the house you can see how it is constructed.

Notable elements of the design are the breezeways through and under the pavilions, the extensive decks for outdoor living, a sail to dine under, the high ceilings and wide roof overhangs, the solar roof heaters and photovoltaic panels, the pool up close, and the steel-framed top-hung sliding walls in either glass or their glorious colours of lime green, acid yellow and fluorescent orange which were inspired by the Linda Jackson fabric screen prints which hang in the house and which reflect the colours in the landscape.

In 2016 the owners of Horseshoe Bay House hosted the Speakers, headlined by Kengo Kuma, to the Evoke International Regional Architecture Conference, held that year in Townsville, to lunch in the garden in front of the house. What has been achieved in this project in terms of architecture, art, and response to climate and site, was enjoyed and celebrated by all.

As Troppo Architects claimed at their Gold Medal Awards celebration in 2014: ‘Horseshoe Bay House is drop-dead gorgeous to look at, and is meeting all its environmental aspirations.’

Australian Institute of Architects Awards 2010 for Horseshoe Bay House:

  • North Queensland Regional Commendation
  • North Queensland House of the Year
  • Queensland State Award for Residential Architecture
  • Queensland State Award for Steel Architecture
  • Finalist, National Architecture Awards
  • Finalist, National Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture (Houses)
  • Dulux National Colour Awards 2010, Residential Exterior

 

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Suburb Horseshoe Bay
Address 41 Horseshoe Bay Rd
State QLD
Price $1,950,000
Property Type residential
Property ID 844
Category House
Land Area 3.67 ha

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