Macleay Island

2014-2015 New Residence, Macleay Island QLD

2 storey modular residence on a 600m2 steep plot of water front land

Design of a new holiday home that can be constructed in a number of modules and installed over a number of years.The client is wanting to maximise the water front views and provide a low key, bushland and water front focused holiday home for them and their children.

Materials will be low maintenance and integrate with the surrounding landscape.Site constraints include flood, waterfront and landslide overlays as well as remoteness of the site for construction and transport of materials. For this reason, the client is considering modular off site construction in elements or components that can fit onto either a barge or large trucks that could be ferried to the site.

Due to the proposal to build the ground floor first and then the upper floor in the future, the structure must be designed to be ready for and accommodate the later installation of the upper floor and we therefore have proposed a 600mm gap between the lower and upper floors which also provides a visual separation between the 2 stages and also provides a breezeway between the 2 levels to cool and allow natural breezes to infiltrate the design and the spaces providing natural ventilation throughout the year.

Site Area
House Area

Project Team
Architect & Interior Designer
Carolyn McLean Architect

Macleay Island House is a modular holiday house designed to be constructed in three separate elements – A kitchen/dining pod and a living pod on ground level, and a bedroom and bathroom pod on the first floor.

The ground floor pods will be connected by a ‘modwood’ deck with roller shutters each end as the front and back ‘doors’ to the house. The first floor will be constructed later but the structure will be designed so that this pod can be easily barged in and sat on top of the ground floor house when the client is ready for that stage of the project.

Due to the steepness of the site and the lack of construction equipment and expertise on the island, the client decided to construct the three modules in Brisbane and barge them, one by one, to the site as completed. It is planned that this will occur over a number of years, so each module needs to be self-contained, while eventually becoming part of the whole when all three elements are built.

Low maintenance is the other key design element driving material selections and design decisions. The client wishes the house to age gracefully and be accommodating of the harshness of the waterfront environment in which it sits. For this reason, fibre cement sheeting has been selected for the external cladding. This will just have a clear seal and will reflect the soft grey of the surrounding gum trees.

Each lineal metre of the ‘modwood’ decking is made from 37 recycled plastic milk bottles and 2kg of Australian Forestry Standard certified reclaimed pine waste, making it a great sustainable product which is also maintenance free.