On Quandamooka Country, Minokō is a family island house located on the ridgeline of the old Point Lookout lighthouse. As a sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life, the client brief called for a warm and intimate house that captures the surrounding views with space to host guests and entertain.
“We were designing our dream beach shack and I loved having input. But after visiting the site several times during construction, I realised this was no shack. The reality is much more than a place to retreat from the beach.”
— Client, Minokō
Nestled into a narrow hillside, the site dictated a requirement for three storeys of program with a whale watch tower above. These levels establish a hierarchy of space; public living areas on ground level, library and master suite on the upper level (with whale watch tower over) and self-contained guests spaces situated on the lower level. The tight and steeply sloping site, bushfire zoning and extreme wind category designation challenged the building engineering and construability, forcing the team to react and refine throughout the entire design and construction process.
As philanthropic music enthusiasts, the clients often spoke of supporting and contributing to the arts on Minjerribah in any way possible. On the public entry level, a mobile kitchen island bench can be turned into a drinks bar and rolled aside, transforming a family gathering space into a fifty-seat music chamber. The double-height space of the living area manages acoustics, light and air allowing mini-concerts of up to 40 people inside the house.
The name, Minokō, meaning the carpentry work of traditional Japanese roof forms, influenced the draping copper roof form over the shou sugi bahn (traditional Japanese pre-charred timber) clad box below. Sharp geometry and angled walls break down the scale of the structure and envelope walls are carefully peeled back to frame unique views from each room.
Powered by roof-mounted solar panels the house is tempered by sliding, folding, winding and stacking operable doors to control privacy and weather. North facing glazing under deep overhangs optimises shade and access to light. Windows can be opened to capture cooling summer breezes channelled up the valley, or closed down, protecting occupants from the often gusty ridgeline.
The tall building form on the highly visible site bears the responsibility of respectfully adding to the natural setting. Externally, the buildings copper ‘carapace’ wraps down over a pre-charred timber clad box. The materials were selected not only for their sensitive appearance, but for their enduring qualities and ability to withstand the harsh environmental conditions of sea-spray and bushfire with minimal maintenance. Over time the copper cladding will naturally patina, allowing the building to age gracefully into its natural surroundings.
“On completion I walked into a dream home. The views draw me inside to see out, but my eye is also drawn inwards and upwards to an elegance of timber finishes and travertine floors. They speak of a relaxed indoor lifestyle that engages with the outdoors. Minokō attracts an abundance of wildlife and friends, perfect for entertaining, house concerts included.”
— Client, Minokō
From city, over sea, over island, through township and eventually up gravel track, Minokō is finally revealed. The building greets visitors with warm and inviting interiors, and encourages an excursion up to the whale watch tower, glass in hand. The tower rewards occupants for their journey with near expansive views of sea and land, welcoming occupants to this special place, on Quandamooka Country, Minokō on Minjerribah.