Designing a project for a coastal location requires a certain give-and-take. While it’s important that a design protects itself and its occupants from the elements, it’s also just as important that the design makes the most of its surrounds.

This was no different for the Tinbeerwah House, designed by Teeland Architects.

“Our client’s brief was for a new family house on a steep hinterland site with views out over Noosa to the Pacific Ocean,” says the architect.

“The challenge with ocean views to the east, is how to provide protection from the hot morning summer sun, while maintaining the outlook from the house.”

Responding to this brief and challenge, a glass pavilion wrapped in sliding Australian hardwood screens was designed. This allows the owners to control the amount of direct sun coming in, along with views and breezes. 


“In winter, they can slide open the screens to let the winter sun in to heat up the concrete floor. [And in] summer mornings, they can have the screens closed to provide shade from direct sun, while still maintaining views and breezes through the timber battens,” says Teeland.


The design strategy aims to provide the family with opportunities to come together to cook, eat and relax, while also incorporating quiet spaces for reflective time. 


A long thin plan allows for a horizontal separation of the public and private areas of the dwelling. The kitchen, living and dining open onto the north-east garden and pool, while the bedrooms are pushed to the more private southern end of the site, separated by bathrooms and robes.


“The long thin rectangular plan is a design strategy that we have utilised on a number of our projects,” says the architect.

“Firstly, on a steep site running a long thin building along the contours allows us to minimise the amount of cut and fill. Seconding, it ensures the building is only one room deep to maximise cross ventilation and natural light for the interior spaces.”

Addressing sustainability, Tinbeerwah House is designed to collect its own solar power and rain water for use in the house. Waste water from bathrooms, kitchen and laundry are also treated on site which is then used for irrigation and bush regeneration.