Sleek & concrete: A beach house with a difference

Transitions installed internal and external concrete floors in a beachfront home in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast. This beautiful home, designed by Shane Denman Architects, has been awarded a Queensland Architecture Award and this month featured on showcasing the use of concrete as a design element in homes. Full article below.

Originally published on Written by Erinna Giblin

 The use of concrete in residential construction is having a resurgence. Far from being stark, sterile and cold, concrete has an ability to take on any shape.

As a result it can provide a wide range of decorative and architectural finishes; its versatility and aesthetic potential make it not only a cost-effective choice of material, but one that provides hard-hitting wow factor.

A recently built house by Shane Denman Architects in Palm Beach, QLD, offers a perfect insight into exactly how far concrete has come. Once labelled as 'ugly' and lacking character, concrete it now more commonly thought of as 'refined' and 'textured'.

This Palm Beach home is no ordinary coastal shack. Rather, it's a modern answer to the traditional Aussie beach house with sleek, minimalist stylings and a subtle, natural ocean theme throughout.

It was obviously well received as Shane Denman Architects won a state award at the Queensland Architecture Award in 2016 for the build.

Called '2A Concrete', the home is a two-storey, six bedroom, 707sqm house made almost entirely from off-form concrete.

Off-form concrete is most commonly produced using grey cement. High-quality moulds are used to ensure the quality of finish is super high; these moulds are often made from wood or stone, enabling the concrete to take on a more textured, natural form.

“The clients did a lot of research into an off-form concrete home; they approached us with their ideas,” says Shane Denman. “They wanted a neutral, minimalist home so they could truly appreciate the gorgeous setting.”

“The building is 95% off-form concrete; floors, walls, ceiling, stairs, the kitchen and island benches are all off-form concrete,” he says. “Using one primary construction material has several benefits, however to ensure a first-class finish vast levels of detailing were required.” 

One of the many impressive features of the home is the 3m cantilever on the first floor, which creates a well-covered alfresco area on the ground floor.

Huge 3m x 3m sliding glass doors enable the family to take in panoramic views of beautiful Palm Beach, while providing easy access to the outdoor entertaining areas.

“The home also features a plunge pool and spa; both are sunken into the concrete deck and allow swimmers to sit and enjoy ocean views and breezes,” says Shane.

“While a stark contrast is evident between the built form and the organic elements of the beach, the clever design and detailing ensure the home works in its environment.”

“It’s aesthetically striking but not imposing. The beach is still the focus and the home works around existing mature pandanus trees. As a result the whole project is well balanced.”

The home is comprised of six bedrooms: Three bathrooms, two powder rooms, and a kids’ room with custom bunk beds, which sleeps six.

There’s also a kids’ rumpus room, study, wine cellar, three-car garage with a store room/workshop, butler’s pantry, plunge pool and spa.