Eagle’s Nest by Ian Bennett Design Studio

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    Sydney-based firm Ian Bennett Design Studio design a robust home to lap up prime waterfront views from every level.

    Eagle’s Nest takes up an enviable, elevated site, perched on the cliff of Collaroy Plateau with barely a neighbour in sight. But this prized location also came with high-level bushfire risk. To realise a safe and secure home that makes the most of the all-blue views below, the clients enlisted the expertise of Ian Bennett Design Studio. Drawing on contemporary Brazilian Modernism and thorough use of concrete, the resulting home can be equally defined by its seclusion and openness.

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    Ian Bennett was asked to design a contemporary home fit for a Flame Zone rating, informing the materiality of the home and most prominently, the use of concrete. “Utilising the client’s expertise with off-form concrete allowed the floors, walls and soffits to be one material with three different textures; burnished floor, sheet form walls and board form soffits,” Ian Bennett says. The studio also used recycled brickwork from the demolition of the existing house, painted white to produce a crisp contrast with the expanse of concrete.

    The design studio created a floor plan which maximises views of the Collaroy Plateau escarpment, resulting in an open-plan area on the ground floor complete with sliding doors, and private spaces upstairs. The home also features a pool, lawn, cinema, barbeque area and rainwater tank.

    A weathered copper box-like structure houses the upper floor of Eagle’s Nest; a jewel atop the Brutalist black and concrete lower floor. Below, louvres assure a sense of privacy and provide access to light. While the exterior juxtaposes forms and materials, the interior presents a coherent atmosphere that’s flowing and open.

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    “Capturing views while maintaining privacy was of paramount importance for a site flanked with public land and fronted with both a busy pedestrian walkway and vehicular thoroughfare.”

    – Ian Bennett Design Studio

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    The Molloy dining table and chairs by Adam Goodrum for NAU provide a generous entertaining area to enjoy ocean views.

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    Inside, a matt black flat plate steel origami staircase connects the two levels, featuring a cage structure which mimics the external louvres. This striking design gives the home a robust, gallery-like atmosphere. The ground floor is inspired by contemporary Brazilian Modernism and allows for openness to filter through the ‘public program’ of kitchen, living and dining areas.

    Ian Bennett took a different approach to the upper level. “The first floor, housing the private program of bedrooms, seeks to frame select views from each space in a more intimate approach, subconsciously inviting one to look further into the view, akin to a painting of a landscape,” he says.

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    Leather furnishings including the Ming’s Heart Armchair by Poltrona Frau, Bilgola Daybed by NAU & Bruce Monoblanc Sofa by Zanotta contrast with the raw concrete walls and smooth black cladding.

    Leather and timber furnishings warm the raw concrete interior. The dining area features the Molloy dining table and chairs in walnut while the living space features sumptuous leather – as seen in the Ming’s Heart Armchairs by Poltrona Frau and accompanied by the Gubi TS Coffee Table. The kitchen features a generous island bench, with the Bronco low stool by Karakter tucked underneath.

    The Eagle’s Nest is striking from all angles. Demonstrating scrupulous compliance with the home’s natural environment and bushfire risk, Ian Bennett Design Studio have worked hard to maximise the surrounding views within the equally raw and refined interior.

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    The bedroom features the Stack Table Lamp by NAU.

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    “Utilising proprietary bushfire products and detailing around their requirements allowed for a seamless resolution that was also cost effective.”

    – Ian Bennett Design Studio

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