Family haven on the Sunshine Coast
Today, we take you through a clever renovation of a pocket-sized beachside apartment on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. At only 88m2, the Mooloolaba Beach Retreat by Sydney-based architecture and interior design practice Higginbotham Studio is the ultimate beach house within a compact apartment footprint.
The beloved retreat had been in the family for over 15 years. It had seen kids become teenagers, to young adults, to parents. Aside from the sentimental, the location and beach context was unparalleled, so the owners decided to renovate, rather than sell.
They called on Adam Higginbotham to help rethink the space and take advantage of the expansive coastal setting. The brief asked for added utility and storage, while encouraging family interaction, spaciousness and outdoor connectivity. What proved challenging were the steps needed to provide the maturing family with flexibility and robustness of plan for years to come.
The outgoing family were troubled by the fact they seldom used the dining table, which sat in a narrow corridor like an impediment to the flow of movement between kitchen and living. Removing this created an opportunity to focus the heart of the plan at the intersection between kitchen, living and the access to the external terrace. Full-height cabinetry could then be extended, bartop raised and open cellar-style shelves inserted. External window bar sills provided the catalyst for conversing between terrace and interiors.
The design focuses on maximising outdoor access and providing a relaxing and minimal interior to recharge and foster much needed family time. The plan provides a renewed sense of excitement for holidays and the Australian tradition of long summers with many post-lunch siestas.
The functions of the spaces did not necessarily need to be repositioned in the plan. Kitchen, living toward the coastal orientation and views, with bed and bathrooms set away from the coast.
The more open part of the plan toward the sea enable evening onshore breezes to permeate to the bedrooms. The breezes in the evening bring the sounds and smell of the nocturnal coastal verges deep into the interior spaces.
With each project, Higginbotham Studio strive to provide healthy, uplifting spaces that are mindfully orientated, have a considered paired-back palette and enrich the experiences of living for the occupants and visitors. We’d say mission accomplished with this project!