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Winner 2019 AIA FNQ Award for House of the Year

Conceptual framework:

All about seclusion, Four Mile Beach House in concept is a private resort and elevated living platform with views through to the lapping Coral Sea beneath the tropical beach rainforest canopy. The project builds and expands on our previous work into possibilities of flexible and open ways of living in the wet tropics under a large folding roof form.


Public and Cultural Benefits:

A new tropical beach resort house prototype, blurring the threshold between landscape & interior.


Relationship of Built Form to Context:

The Beachfront in Port Douglas is characterised by an eclectic mix of resort style development. This house contributes as a contemporary punctuation and counterpoint to the more traditional & stylistic modes.


Program Resolution:

Critical to our approach was in developing new ways of living in tropical latitude, by providing secure yet flexible open areas for all functions including living, entertaining, dining, recreation & swimming,  which are completely naturally ventilated and further enhanced with integrated building systems. These flexible main living areas open into the view with cascading waterfall features which further provide evaporative cooling effect in the drier months. The undercroft houses a Theatre, Gallery Space, Gym, Sauna , Large Garage and utility areas for plant equipment.


Integration of Allied Disciplines:

In all of our work, we strive for innovation and new solutions to the problems of living with climate change in the 21st Century. Integration of Allied Disciplines was critical to the successful delivery of our vision for the project, in particular the hydraulic & structural engineering which not only facilitated the advanced sustainability initiatives but also the practical requirements for withstanding annual cyclonic weather events. 


Cost/Value Outcome:

The project was developed and procured through an intensive value management process, resulting in a highly cost-effective solution to the client’s specific requirements.



The entire roof area is harvested to in-ground water tanks integrated with all hydraulic systems for user control over diversion between irrigation and other non-potable operations. Photovoltaic Panels provide green energy feedback into the power grid. We utilised low energy LED fittings throughout along with low water usage plumbing fixtures. The plan configuration naturally promotes mixed mode operation with regard to cross-flow ventilation vs. use of air-conditioning. The sleek clad steel and concrete super-structure is engineered to withstand severe cyclones and has long-life efficiency.


Response to Client and User needs:

Our client required a private & secure retreat with visible and audible privacy. We schemed the house akin to a hard shell or canopy with delicate privacy screening across the entire entry facade. Once inside, the house is conceived as an elevated resort with cascading pools and gardens which literally stretch into the beach rainforest and sea.

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