Coogee Home

Tucked away in a protected gully this Coogee residence is home to a busy family with a passion for travel, food and healthy lifestyle. The brief was very simple- they wanted their existing steeply terraced garden to be completely re-planted with a lush sub-tropical theme and some under-utilised areas re-activated and re-connected to the garden. Additional boundary screening was also a priority along with some external storage.

Two of the four timber retaining walls were rebuilt to provide long-term stability to the upper terraces and to the studio accommodation at the top of the site. A timber deck and child-safe balustrade was constructed above the main courtyard to provide extra flat open space and new timber steps were constructed between the new deck and upper terraces and studio. A short meandering path was built among lush new vegetation on the widest of the upper terraces with a simple timber bench at the end angled to capture views over the property and the surrounding valley landscape.

Starting at the main entry door and landing area and continuing up the side of the property, rough-sawn hardwood battens were attached horizontally along the boundary fence in a random pattern to create a dramatic privacy screen. New and existing climbing plants are encouraged to grow through the structure to soften and add to the overall sense of privacy. A curved external storage enclosure was also constructed to hide a few regularly-used garden tools and bagged materials near the entry area. Made of curved steel and rough-sawn Western Red Cedar slats, the enclosure mimics the base of a large tree, similar to those that remain on the property. Old concrete steps were also clad in timber to improve accessibility and to tie in with the timber work elsewhere.

Plants used include ferns Pteris umbrosa, Asplenium nidus and Blechnum brasiliense, assorted Bromeliads, hybrid Clivias, Chef’s Hat Correa, Blueberry Ash and Eumuny Quandong, the unusual Grevillea ‘Deua Flame’ and Radermachera kunming ‘Summerscent’, Philodendron ‘Rojo Congo’, Cardamon Ginger and Alpinias, Brazillian Walking Iris, Kentia, Golden Cane and Rhapis palms, Liriope and Ophiopogon varieties, Apple Guava, Viola, Wedding Iris, Tradescantia palida, Stephanotis and Heliconia.

Design and project management – CALDESIGN

Build – The Other Side Landscapes

Photography – Peter Brennan Photography

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