Ring Residence - Malua Bay


Designed as a weekend retreat, the Malua Bay coast house is a timeless getaway only hours away from Canberra. Each residence references the different views available to the site: two different aspects to the ocean and views to the coastal hinterland to the rear of the site.

A mix of modern and traditional building materials give the residence a modern feel as well as a sense of traditional coastal architecture. Steel and corrugated iron cladding with a round feature window give the design a nautical edge; whist the timber and stone elements ground the residence to the site.

The two-storey nature of the residence offers an adaptable plan and uses of design, comfortably accommodating a multitude of guests in peak periods. The lower levels can be utilised as separate self-contained units for additional privacy to visiting guests. The sloping site offers an interesting sectional quality through the site, such that each level can be clearly read as separate living zones.

Both houses have been designed to create a different feel so reflect the personality of the person. This is the first time that I have designed for myself and my partner Helen King.

So I wanted to use as many natural resources of the site, the slope, views, prevailing winds, solar orientation and especially to be low maintenance.

We achieved low maintenance by the use of materials, natural finish blockwork, corrugated iron for walls, eaves, gutters, down pipes and roof and then the contrast of the timber which is used as a cladding as well as the decks. They do require maintenance once a year but the material softens and creates warmth to the façade, while the grey block is cool and the corrugated iron walls are neutral “feminism” colour. The contrasting use of material creates interest to the building as well as divides the façade into proportion that are easily read from the street.

The houses have a combination of seven levels, which utilises the slope of the land to its advantage. House two was designed to capture the distant sea views and the sea breezes. House one was designed to capture the northern district views, which has the distant views of the local bushland and dense forests. The northern deck has the feeling that you are sitting on top of the roof looking down the valley. The night view is magical.

House one also captures the sky view, which is remarkable down the coast. House one was designed that downstairs could be rented out separately and has its own kitchenette, hot water system, alarm system and front door entrance. This part of the house has two bedrooms, a two way bathroom, a family room and a separate living area. The ‘Harry Potter’ room under the stairs is a plus for people who drop in unexpectedly.

Home two has been designed for Socrates and Maria and their family. The house faces south but clerestory windows are the full height of the house to capture the northern sun whilst giving views to the amazing sky. House two has been designed as one large living area upstairs, which is divided into three sections, the kitchen, the dining room and the living room. The division of these spaces are separated only by furniture, so that at anytime it could be rearranged. Downstairs is the kid’s wing with its own living room, two bedrooms and a bathroom. Both houses have also been designed to create an ease of movement from the inside to the outside of the house whilst creating an inner house that can be closed off to create privacy on entry. House one once you notice the round window which is looking out to capture the trees of the neighbours block and no house can be seen giving you the feeling you are in a bushland setting. Turn left to the upper lounge area and look out and see some water views, then go back to the foyer and into the kitchen meals area, which looks over the district view, so wherever you are in the house the feeling is different from each vista.

Environmentally conscious:

The houses have been designed with 10,000 litre water tanks underground and these serve the toilets, the laundry and the outside taps.

The water is captured from the roof and is then filtered to stop leaves, paper and other debris. Our bill for three months of water was $13.50. The houses also have double glazed windows throughout which is for noise, solar penetration and heat loss.

The windows were designed to capture natural cross ventilation throughout the house. Solid core 2340 doors were used for sound and heat loss throughout the house. Insulation and sarking were used extensively throughout the house for the five star rating. Insulation and sarking were used in the walls and roof. Floors are slab to the ground and timber to the first floor but we placed the bearers and joists at minimum centres to create a solid floor for the first floor.

We had our first Christmas with our families and friends and had 42 people stay with us over a period three weeks so everything was tested well. The house has been built by a true tradesman, with the John Bamman team. The details and the finishes is what make these houses so special to live in. The house is solid and has no movement in the plaster or walls even though the houses are locked up 70% of the time. We believe John Bamman has created two magnificent houses that both families will enjoy for many years to come. We would also like to thank Sonja Archer from Archertec Interiors for her help in colour selection, tile and bathroom selections and internal spaces. We would also like to thank my partner Helen for her ability to create a house with her selection of furniture and soft furnishings. Thank you to all at Architects Ring and Associates.


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