Designing a home for a beachside location requires a structure that will protect both itself and its occupants from the elements. At the same time, it should offer a sense of vulnerability; opening up to these elements.

This was the thinking behind Lavoni Street House, a home carved into a steeply sloping site overlooking Balmoral Beach.

The Sydney home was designed by Corben Architects, and as the architects describe: “[The dwelling] evokes a sense of solidity while capturing sunlight and maximising water views to provide a superb casual living environment.”


The structure has been designed to read as a two-storey home, placed over a large underground garage. The entry and bedroom level are both situated above this. The top floor accommodates a large open-plan living, dining and kitchen area, a TV room and office.


Lavoni Street’s design incorporated a combination of materials chosen for their durability, texture, and their ability to weather naturally. These included a rendered brick façade featuring timber screens, and off-form concrete flooring inside. Stone-clad walls appear throughout one of the project’s landscaped areas, and forms an outdoor shower in the garden.


Northern sunlight is maximised throughout the home’s interiors thanks to large windows. Shutters allow the residents to control the exposure they have to the outdoors.


A raised roof in the living area has been sloped upwards, the resulting triangular space filled with thin rectangular windows that act as horizontal skylights that rim the space and bring in natural light.


At the rear of the property, a footpath leads through a grassed garden to a pavilion. This structure is separate to the home, but has employed similar materials in its design. The pavilion – an open yet protected space – provides an area for lounging and dining, and includes a fully equipped kitchen.