Located at the base of Manly’s eastern hill, Little Manly House enjoys oblique views of manly harbour to the southwest while to the north, the raised topography and landscape provides a lush green sense of enclosure. With this location, the site is subject to overland flooding during significant rain events with the natural flow path bisecting the site diagonally, materially constraining development of the land.
Although initially considered a constraint, CHROFI flipped this challenge to become an asset by redirecting this flow path to form a perimeter landscape feature of native plants and a rivulet while substantiating our central design proposition – to create an elevated universal ‘platform for living’.
Capitalising on the natural lushness of the site and the client’s love of Neutra’s mid-century modernist houses, the home is designed as a series of loosely connected indoor and outdoor living spaces immersed within this perimeter garden, with garaging and ancillary spaces housed beneath at street level, and the bedroom wing suspended above.
Confined to the urban context of Manly the form reflects the basic structure presenting as an ensemble of gently stepped horizontal volumes that are placed to reconcile the scale of the streetscape while formalising the sense of enclosure of a private family ‘living platform’.
The home exists as an oasis within its own private garden, enriching both the house and its site.