Simplicity, sustainability and affordability won this modest beach restoration the top award in home design.
A beachside restoration in the Gold Coast suburbs has been awarded the 2020 Australian House of the Year. Chosen by a panel of industry experts, the Cantala Avenue House by ME was selected because of the way it has evolved the idea of an antipodean coastal home, mirroring the no-fuss nature of the Australian home, with strong considerations towards sustainability and affordability.
The 2020 Houses jury commented that within the broader context of the worldâs current challenges, Cantala Avenue House âcalls on us to reflect on what is truly important and what we essentially need to live well.
Architect Matthew Eagle has solved ordinary design problems in an extraordinary way, reconsidered the suburban status quo and pushed boundaries, literally and figuratively, all within a reasonable budget.â
Equal priority has been given to indoor and outdoor spaces, appropriately embracing the subtropical climate. Both the existing plan and the new addition are punctuated with planted courtyards to maximize natural light and ventilation, while minimizing heat from the harsh western sun.
Architect Matthew Eagle has also preserved and reused a significant amount of the original materials to reduce waste.
Cantala Avenue House is an alteration to a 1970s-era house and addition that celebrates a simple life. Just a short walk from the beach the jury said the house is a contemporary reinterpretation of the traditional beach shack â carefully avoiding replication, it is a playful and refreshing reinvention. It has civic respect, yet individualism.
The brick-paved outdoor area features low seating edge and fireplace. A ha-ha replaces the need for pool fencing. Originating from 18th-century English gentry a ha-ha is a sunken ditch allowing uninterrupted views while providing a secure barrier unseen from the open garden above.
Northern light and fresh air enters the home through two narrow garden voids, one between the living room and bedroom, the other between the bedroom and bathroom.