‘Nannygai’ is a special family retreat located at Mulumba [Point Lookout] on Minjerribah [North Stradbroke Island] on the doorstep of Brisbane, Queensland. It’s a physical and ideological haven that accommodates gathering family and friends, celebrating food, enjoying the beach lifestyle and creating lasting memories set within a spectacular coastal landscape.
Nannygai was imagined as a simple elevated platform to view the spectacular beauty of the island setting, hovering above a habitable terrace on which to experience it. The site was reformed to become an occupied series of landscape terraces capped by an elevated platform to soak in the spectacular scenery from the tree tops. The home is equally comfortable, accommodating an intimate couple’s getaway or entertaining a large group at family get-togethers. The project was well-made by local skilled hands to be durable and loved for generations.
The clients required a low-maintenance, refined house to accommodate a large family. Spaces were organised by holiday rituals, aided by sliding panels to either connect occupants with the landscape or facilitate privacy. Upstairs the deck size was restrained enabling adjacent floor to ceiling glass to draw the spectacular view into the indoor living area. Secret doors created privacy and mirrors played tricks with the space, views and light. Downstairs, the concrete floor becomes wide steps down to a grassed terrace with a fire pit. Each space was designed to be memorable with unique opportunities to engage with its setting.
Architect, client, builder, suppliers and sub-contractors worked closely together to maintain cost control and detail resolution. Local skilled labour and positive open communication were essential to a collectively enjoyable procurement experience given the complexity and durability required for island construction.
The house was comparatively compact [only slightly larger than the asbestos shack it replaced] given its occupation capacity. External landscapes became habitable spaces requiring less ‘built’ area. External materials were raw, non-reflective and predominately pre-finished which require little maintenance. Inside finishes, materials and details were refined and unobtrusive to reduce glare and nourish the senses. Quality materials and construction ensured the home would endure the harsh coastal environment. The house easily accommodates large family gatherings [including a ground floor ensuite bedroom for the parents-in-law], whilst not being over scaled for a couple’s retreat.