Taking place on 19th and 20th of October, the Open House Sunshine Coast will offer free public access to 30 buildings, helping to generate conversation about the region’s rich architectural history and diverse culture. I have selected a group of private houses and commercial buildings to chronical Sunshine Coast architecture – each interrogating place, landscape, culture and informality.

1. Wilsons Beach House (Dicky Beach House) by John Railton – Has at its essence the true nature of a beach house of its time. Conceived as an alternative to having a tent and camping, a basic timber shell acts as a gathering place for family, friends and weekend parties. Designed where nothing could be taken away, every m2 is used with no leftover space. The home interacts with the landscape without the need for a verandah. Instead internal living spaces reconnect the coastal gardens through large double hung windows turning the living/dining area into a generous garden room.

Wilson Beach House (Dicky Beach House) by John Railton – Image by Jon Linkins

2. Lake Weyba House by Gabriel and Elizabeth Poole – A cluster of pavilions open their sail like roofs to capture Northern light. Vertical framed panels pivot to direct breezes from every direction allowing airflow and cross-ventilation. External circulation across covered decking encourages the user to engage with surrounding landscape and climate. Each pavilion is setup through a structural framework allowing each a distinct use; living/eating/cooking – bathing – sleeping. Celebrating the rituals of daily living on this site.

Lake Weyba House by Gabriel and Elizabeth Poole Image: Reiner Blunck

3. Little Cove House by Teeland Architects – Part of the continuum of south-east Queensland beach houses, this modern home breaks free from the prevailing preference for lightweight construction. Landscape is used as a mechanism for organising the plan and infusing the heavy concrete portals with the site. There is a sense that the national park is pulled through the home reconnecting with the street.

Little Cove House by Teeland Architects_Image by Jared Fowler

4. Bark Studio by Bark Architects – A modernist glass, steel and plywood pavilion sits upon a hill in the Noosa Hinterland. It incorporates a mix of heavy and lightweight materials and uses unpretentious tectonics. Designed around a strategy for flexibility between space for work and space for living and all the other combination in-between. The modular shop-house is sited between two mature native trees and captures broad view of the Pacific coastline.

Bark Studio by Bark Architects Image: Christopher Frederick Jones

5. St Andrew’s Anglican College Learning Centre by Wilson Architects – Described by students as a university like facility. The learning hub forms part of a new type of educational building where the focus has been shifted from teachers and their classrooms towards student-centred learning. Students are imbued with a sense of ownership of the space and their learning. Constructed predominantly from brick and steel the building again pushes back against the notional requirement for lightweight construction to achieve ephemerality and lightness.

St Andrews Anglican College Learning Hub by Wilson Architects_©CFJ
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