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Bilgola Beach house by Olson Kundig – for the love of dunes

Bilgola Beach house by Olson Kundig – for the love of dunes


Nestled in the sand dunes of Bilgola Beach, this 873-square-metre family home by Olson Kundig is located on the northern coast of Sydney, Australia. 

Passing through palm trees and Norfolk Pines, the site’s entrance leads through the solid volumes of the home’s main and guest wings. Upon approaching the front door, the view opens up to the sand dune and beach beyond. 

“This was my first time working in Australia, and it was an honour and a privilege to be invited to design this special home,” says practice design principal Tom Kundig.

“The house attempts to address the varied climatic conditions of Australia in the best way, allowing the owners to open or close it to the beachfront as the weather changes.

“My hope is that the home will grow and evolve as it responds to all the different environmental and climatic conditions of the site, hopefully blending into the headlands and becoming more integrated with Bilgola Beach over time.”

Responding to the beachfront environment of its headland site, the home is designed to withstand Australia’s dramatic climate conditions, where harsh sunlight, high winds and flooding are common. 

The structure is set on concrete piles, allowing sand and water to move in and out beneath the building. 

At the same time, the design allows the family to connect with the natural environment, with shaded retractable window walls that merge inside with the outside and provide passive ventilation. 

An interior courtyard brings filtered daylight into the core of the home, where a central water feature helps to cool the air.

The colour of the home’s board-formed concrete walls references the colour of the local sands, relating the architecture to its site and helping it merge with the natural condition of the headlands as it weathers over time.

Photography by Rory Gardiner

Delicately placed above the moss-covered earth, Knights Rest by Saxon Hall creates a beacon within the darkened Tasmanian bushland, learn more here.


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