Set protected in the shelter of the northerly Coogee headland on Sydney’s coastline stands a new copper clad residence by Takt | Studio for Architecture, so small it’s barely visible from the street, but unique enough that it still turns a head or two.

The building replaces a dilapidated 1890’s fibro shack and is situated on what seems like an impossibly steep and narrow site. It is broken into three single-storey copper clad pavilions that are stepped down the undulating contour, matching its curve and avoiding overlooking into neighbouring homes.

At just 60sqm the two bedroom building could be considered small by Australian house standards, but the architects said that its size reflects their site-responsive objective and their desire to build for both privacy and outlook.

The stepped form offers contrasts of privacy and outlook, matching the contour and avoiding overlooking,” says Takt.

“Most importantly the Copper House project aims for inherent sustainability by building small, building well and building to last.”

The project’s aspiration is to continue the built history on the site for as many years again into the future.”

From above, each of the three pavilions is defined by a butterfly roof which is oriented to invite winter sunlight whilst protecting resident privacy from the neighbours.  The dual pitches fall to a gutter channel which flows to bespoke “downpipes” made from copper chain and ornaments.

Inside, the roofline provides a semi double-height interior space and, with aid from under-eave highlight windows, frames views of the surrounding trees.

The pavilions are constructed in structural steel, feature hand waxed concrete flooring and are all clad in copper that came from KFC Roofing Supplies situated in Sydney. On a side note, the architects say that erecting the steel structure first allowed the roof to go on straightaway and that detailed interior fitout could commence immediately.  

Copper was chosen by Takt in response to the coastal location and the effect the salty and humid atmosphere has on surfaces. The architects say the material has already developed a patina that will only improve with age.

 Even though Copper House is built so close to the fence line (it’s any wonder it met council set back requirements) Takt have provided a private escape for their clients by deeply considering the site’s topography and its exposure to nature.

Window choice was pivotal for Takt in providing occupants access to natural light while keeping their privacy. Louvre sections, highlight windows, and frosted sections are used throughout the home. The interior detailing adds character to the home. It features furniture from Craft Design Realisation, copper interiors and leather wrapped door handles.

Copper House is currently being considered for the NSW Architecture Awards in the Small Project Category.

Photography by Shantanu Starick.

Cross section: Houzz