An Optical Illusion in Coogee


Living beachside has its many perks, like being able to go for an ocean swim whenever you want, epic sunrises at your doorstep, excellent fish and chips nearby. It also means you’re likely going to fall victim to strong ocean winds battering your home every so often, salt spray, and strong sunlight streaming in. This was definitely the case at the site of the Coogee House in Sydney. The talented team at Chenchow Little expertly designed the house to ensure its occupants could enjoy the location sans those annoying issues. It was also crafted to grant them privacy from neighbours and passersby, without compromising any incoming natural light.

The house’s battened screen facade looks like an optical illusion at first glance. Adjust your eyes and you’ll see a formidable concrete wall and a long staircase peeking through. The stairs span the building’s three levels; living spaces up top, bedrooms in the middle, and a guest space downstairs. The dining room, kitchen, and living room were chosen to be upstairs in order to reap the most benefit from the breeze, the sun, and not to mention the stunning view of the Pacific Ocean. Retractable screens were fitted so the occupants could choose how much or how little they wanted to let inside.

An interior fitted out with beautiful warm timber rounds out this incredible house in Coogee.

Photographed by John Gollings & Peter Bennetts.