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Small Vacation Home Wraps Around Large Private Courtyard

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Bourne Blue Architecture designed Seal Rocks House to expose all of its rooms to an inner courtyard for a private indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Located in Seal Rocks, Australia, the vacation home is all about the outdoor experience so the home itself is only 129sqm and contains a bathroom, a large shower and an indoor social zone consisting of kitchen, dining and living. Then there is the large and spacious courtyard complete with hammocks and day beds. Seal Rocks House is one of a village of vacation homes that are mainly aged fishing shacks. The original shacks are slowly being replaced with new homes as ownership changes but Bourne Blue Architecture chose to design Seal Rocks House in a style that was respectful to the original holiday houses while at the same time creating a place that could be used as rental income when the homeowners where not using it.

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With the focus of the home facing inwards, the architects where able to reduce the amount of glazing on the perimeter walls allowing for a reduction in the amount of expensive bushfire treatments the location requires. There is also a 10m setback to the rear enforced by the Rural Fire Service and a fire fence with a flame zone to the street incorporating level 3 bushfire protection. The roof feeds up to 27000L of water into storage tanks for domestic use with an additional 15000L stored for firefighting. For extra protection a pump supplies water from domestic supplies via sprinklers to the roof and garden levels. The water that lands on the roof is then fed into the storage tanks for recirculation which extends the protection time.

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Additional sustainable features are the 1.5kw grid feed solar system and a wet composting worm farm for treating sewage. Materials used on the home relate to the pre-existing village and are both economical and corrosion resistant. Walls are lined with 9mm CFC and have aluminum channels. Locally milled Blackbutt is used on the decking. The plastic external light fixtures here chosen for longevity and cost effectiveness as was the choice of polished particleboard as a flooring finish and the fomrply finish facing.

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The site has a gentle rise to the rear of the site and a view to the bush from both front and back. There is also a lighthouse beam that passes overhead, lighting up the night sky for those enjoying the open space of the courtyard.

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The far end of the courtyard house the two water tanks which rise above the greenery planted within the voids of the decking. The tanks are fed by the gutter system that lines the inner edge of the roofline.

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Hammocks can be strung just inside the courtyard openings with mosquito netting covering the opening. This offers a luxury camping experience of outdoor views and fresh air while still sleeping within the protected zone of the home.

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The bushland that rises into the view of the courtyard skyline, combined with the inner plantings help blur the line of an indoor/outdoor transition.

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As day shifts to night, a series of outdoor light fixtures keeps the courtyard lit with a soft ambiance.

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The shower room is large and spacious and even sports two rain showers.

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The wide, shaded entry of the home leads to a foyer outfitted for surfboard storage, towels and wetsuits. The shower is located close to the entry so that sand can be washed away before spreading it to the rest of the home.
A wide shaded entry foyer is for storage of surfboards, hanging towels and wetsuits while a shower just to the right is close at hand to wash away sand before it spreads throughout the home. The living and dining areas are to the left of the foyer with a kitchen next to the dining area. On the far side of the home are three bedrooms for a total of 5 beds.

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Bourne Blue Architecture

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