Sunshine Coast building design is about capturing the feel of the natural local environment and creating a design that works with the environment and the clients brief. Building design is about working with the local site, orienting the building to the north to capture the natural light, creating overhangs or hoods to shade from the harsh summer sun and allow the warming winter sun and light in. Openings should be aligned and positioned to capture the cooling breezes and allow them to pass through the building, letting it breathe naturally. It’s about celebrating the lifestyle and climate and having internal living areas that open up to external living and dining areas. The building should be flexible enough to be opened and closed dependant on the weather conditions, with the external areas covered and positioned to avoid storms and prevailing winds.
I believe it’s not about picking out a plan or a building that someone else has that has no relation or connection to the site, the conditions and how we live. I believe it’s about exploring the possibilities of the arrangement and the spaces; first in relation to the site conditions, views and existing structures and surroundings. Placing the importance on creating these spaces with feeling, thinking about how they will be used and linked together with other spaces, the position of openings, and the way it functions and how it will be furnished. Imagining and creating something different and interesting where people want to gather and be together and have a connection with the building. There are many elements that go into how successful the design solution is; proportion, layout, balance, arrangement, materials.
I believe that there is a strong relationship between the environment and the buildings materials. For example how natural and honest the material is, its history, texture, feel, how it weathers, what the maintenance is, who makes it and where does it come from. Is it an artificial material pretending to be something else, what’s our relationship to this or can we make a stronger natural connection to something raw and honest like timber or steel?
How do we feel about the story of the buildings we live in and create? Is it the same building as someone down the street that was purchased off a glossy brochure? The same house built in Queensland that is being built in Victoria? A house built with profits going out of our local economy on a building that doesn’t function well, wastes materials, is expensive to run and maintain and has a limited life?
Or does our building have a history, something that has been saved, renovated and retrofitted to suit the modern world we live in? Has it been a collaborative experience between the clients and a designer? Has it explored the local environment, the occupants’ needs, the spaces and finishes, how flexible and functional the building is and how much material and energy it consumes? Was it about working through the process and an individual journey to create something that truly gives back to the people and the place?