fbpx DAN | Daily Architecture News Bangalley House by Casey Brown Architecture - DAN | Daily Architecture News
Bangalley House by Casey Brown Architecture

Bangalley House by Casey Brown Architecture

WATCH: Highlights from the world of architecture and design.

Sitting camouflaged in a highly visible location, Bangalley House is an exercise in balancing extreme exposure with protection. The rising headland site drinks in panoramic ocean views and shares sightlines with the golden sands of Avalon Beach in Sydney. “Almost any new building you’ll see on a Sydney headland really stands out, often to the detriment of the surrounding area,” says architect Rob Brown. “The clients didn’t want that. They asked for something that was moulded into the landscape.”

Bangalley House in Avalon

The clients have lived on the dress circle plot for over 20 years. They raised their children in the former dwelling and have witnessed first-hand the intensity of nature’s wrath that can be thrust upon the site. From salt spray to electrical storms and howling winds. Bookended, of course, by sunny days against the sparkling sea. 

The now empty-nesters enlisted Rob Brown and Caroline Casey of Casey Brown Architecture to conceptualise a robust new home that complemented the headland’s timeworn cliffs and respected the site’s topography, while providing a feeling of privacy and shelter from the elements. The resulting home comprises a series of “stepped, staggered and linked pavilions”, each clad in San Selmo Corso bricks of assorted earth-toned colours. “We’ve got reds and whites and greys all mixed in together to satisfy the brief of matching the local rock,” says Rob.

Bangalley House in Avalon
Bangalley House in Avalon

Handmade in Venice, Italy, the bricks are long and slender, lending the abode a rather European look while ensuring it blends with its uniquely Australian surrounds. “I think what these long skinny bricks do is emphasise the horizontality of the stratification of the cliff. They also produce a beautiful patination – inside and outside – as the light moves around from morning to afternoon,” says Rob. “Every part of the day or the season, the bricks tell a different story.”

There is no paint in this house. And so, for the interior walls, the architects and their clients again opted for San Selmo Corso bricks, this time in contrasting crisp white. “We were keen to continue the distinctive form of the bricks inside and maintain that continuity,” says Rob. The interior ceilings are panelled in warming South American timber while the floors are laid with Italian stone. “The floor slabs are an Italian conglomerate, which is a type of stone that is made up of other stones, all cemented together naturally,” says Rob. “Like the bricks, each floor slab is unique, which gives the interior real texture and authenticity.”

Bangalley House in Avalon

The client’s brief for the showstopping staircase stipulated that anyone in the kitchen should be able to see through the stairs to the view beyond, explains Caroline. Rising to the task, the architect borrowed inspiration from the weather patterns of the locale to create a mostly transparent screen that is part-balustrade, part-sculpture. “I was trying to work with the notion of wind on the surface of water, of the ocean, and how wind changes the direction of our landscapes,” Caroline says of the screen’s fluid design.

Now that the home is complete and the owners have moved in, Rob says: “I suppose I compare it with what’s around – the bright blue and the bright green, and I think, well, it’s doing what it was always intended to do.” Caroline adds: “The clients are absolutely loving living here and experiencing it every day. I think you feel sheltered, you feel protected. There’s never a same day that rolls past here.”


Bangalley House in Avalon bathroom
Bangalley House in Avalon
Bangalley House in Avalon
Bangalley House in Avalon
Bangalley House in Avalon

Parts of this story first appeared on the Brickworks Design Channel.

Related stories

Login to join the conversation

Subscriber comments are moderated first. Respect others. Criticise ideas, not people. No offensive language View commenting guidelines

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Further Reading
View all in Architecture
Port Douglas retreat: Gurner reveals plans to open luxury hotel in Far North Queensland
Melbourne-based developer Tim Gurner, the founder and director of eponymous property group Gurner, has recruited an all-star design team to compose the company’s first luxury hotel. Architect Ed Glenn of Powell and Glenn will spearhead the sustainability-focussed design, working in close collaboration with Jerry Wolveridge of Wolveridge Architects. Landscape architect Myles Baldwin is onboard to cultivate the property’s lavish tropical gardens while Tim’s wife, stylist and interior designer Aimee Gurner will guide the direction of the project’s sumptuous interiors. “It has been inspiring watching my wife Aimee, Ed Glenn, Jerry and Myles put together this incredible creation," says Tim. “Something I know people will fall in love with.”
Could this be the new look for Sydney's brutalist Sirius building?
Designed by former NSW housing commission architect Tao Gofers in the 1970s, the brutalist Sirius building is back in the spotlight as plans for its redevelopment are submitted for exhibition by developer JDH Capital. The proposed scheme for the adaptive reuse of Sirius has been imagined by BVN, following an architecture competition that closed to submissions in December 2019.
Reclaimed bricks line the vaulted buildings of China's Imperial Kiln Museum
Known as the ‘Porcelain Capital’ for its centuries-long association with crafting some of the world’s finest ceramics, Jingdezhen is a prefecture-level city in the north-eastern Jiangxi province of China. While historians suggest that the area may have produced pottery as early as the sixth century, the region didn’t become a dominant kiln site until the 11th century. Later, from the Ming Dynasty onward, the official kilns of Jingdezhen fell under the control of the emperor, who commissioned large quantities of ‘imperial porcelain’ for palace service and lavish gifts.
British luxury car maker Aston Martin unveils exclusive New York residences
British luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin and visionary architect Sir David Adjaye have united to create a lineup of five exclusive residences at the 66-storey 130 William building in New York. As somewhat of a deal-sweetener, buyers of the exclusive homes will also be able to travel the city in style behind the wheel of a Sir David-designed Special Edition Aston Martin SUV.

Aston Martin chief creative officer Marek Reichman and Sir David Adjaye worked collaboratively on this project to bring the ethos of Aston Martin’s elegant design and dedicated craftmanship to 130 William’s architecture and handcrafted interiors.
Prior cafe in Thornbury by Melbourne architects Ritz & Ghougassian
Facing the tramline on High Street in Thornbury, Prior is a chic neighbourhood cafe that opened its doors to the inner Melbourne suburb in early 2020. Observing the eatery from the street, the building, a former print shop, is crowned by typically Art Deco detailing. Dramatic black windows frame the entrance of the 130-seat cafe while an equally theatrical awning is emblazoned with the single word ‘Prior’, positioned front and centre as if to indicate its strength as a headline act in this neck of the woods.
Steven Chilton Architects previews 2000-seat theatre inspired by Chinese silk
Scheduled to open its box office to audiences later this year, the captivating Guangzhou Show Theatre is currently under construction in the Huadu District of Guangzhou, north of Macao in southern China. Introductory illustrations of the theatre’s imposing facade demonstrate how London-based firm Steven Chilton Architects has engineered the building to express the mesmerising fluidity and drape of a luxurious silk scarf, a garment which has well-established connections with the region’s past.