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Studio Addition at Moffat Beach

Moffat Beach used to be one of the “forgotten corners” of the Sunshine Coast, valued mostly by surfers of the classic longboard wave off the headland.   Shunned by developers due to lack of a “flagged” beach and the presence of an ocean outfall, it is only recently that it has been “discovered” by the real estate industry. This quirk of fate has conserved what is now the best collection of post WW2 traditional coastal architecture in Queensland.

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In order to work and live on the same property, it was decided to add 90m2 of commercial space and upgrade the existing flats, which had been built in 1961 for beachside holiday accommodation.

The site is on the edge of the Local Business zone, and adjoins residential property to the north.

The challenge was to accommodate the commercial use without compromising the residential character of the area and the heritage significance of the flats.

The design accommodates the two flats, commercial space, parking and turning for four cars, as well as mature trees, all within the confines of a 20mx20m property.

Opportunities for gaining northern aspect from the studios to the south have been maximised despite having to maintain fire separation from the flats. Planning considered future flexibility such that the division between commercial and residential uses can ebb and flow as needs dictate.


The commercial component is influenced by the post war aesthetic but it is interpreted in a modern way.

Decorative effects to concrete tilt work and “crazy paving” allude to the eroded Landsborough Grey sandstone of Moffat Headland, with its distinctive tessellated fragmentation and pock marking.

The external paving has avoided the hard & sterile environments normally associated with car parking. Broken up concrete was able to be woven into the pattern, ground permeability is maintained, and movement associated with tree roots can be accommodated.

Incorporation of found objects, recycled materials, and detailed surface finishes add to the eclectic character of the work and build in additional layers of meaning and memory.

Existing materials such as doors, windows, timber & concrete were incorporated back into the project. Additional timber joinery came from a house with, coincidentally, the same street address at Bribie Island. Internal doors and some cabinets were rescued from a local house being demolished. Off-form concrete textures were formed from 60’s Masonite. Sandy soil from the site was made into concrete for some of the paving.

Roger and Sally are keen local advocates for conservation of Caloundra’s post war Heritage. This project demonstrates that new work can fit comfortably into existing character areas, and that there is a viable alternative to the “bulldoze and rebuild” approach so common on the coast.

see 8 Campbell St on sunshinecoastplaces

Camp AD v17.bimx
Roger Todd,
Jan 1, 2014, 9:18 PM