Nailed it: How this house is the perfect example of a Sunshine Coast ‘look’

The quest for a distinctive architectural design suitable for southeast Queensland’s sub-tropical climate has preoccupied governments and planning authorities for decades but one local council believes it has found the key to ensuring more homes take advantage of the region’s distinctive way of life.


Feb 05, 2021, updated Feb 05, 2021
Photo: Wayne Barbe

Photo: Wayne Barbe

Sunshine Coast Council has produced guidelines highlighting successful ways of incorporating good architectural design into the region’s housing.

The strategy, expressed in a glossy book produced by the council, has won two national design awards as well as a state award. An online version of the so-called Yellow Book has been accessed thousands of times from the council’s website.

Environment and Liveability portfolio councillor Peter Cox said Sunshine Coast Design is a resource to help design homes, buildings, parks, public spaces, streets and neighbourhoods on the Sunshine Coast using a set of simple and accessible values and design principles.

“This book explains the whys and the hows when it comes to achieving good design on the Sunshine Coast – rather than just ‘anywhere, “ Cox said.

“It doesn’t push a certain architectural or landscape style, rather, it encourages the use of the values and design principles to inform good design.”

A Coolum Beach house, Breezeway, designed by local firm Majstorovic Architecture, is being held up by the council as a quintessential example of distinctive Sunshine Coast design.

The house eschews air conditioning in favour of simple passive design to help ensure comfort for its residents throughout the year.

Architect Dragi Majstorovic said the house reflected the passive elements that were part of the Sunshine Coast’s sub-tropical climate and landscape.

“The ability for a house to maintain passive thermal comfort throughout the year between 22-26 degrees is an absolute joy to live in,” he said.

“Many clients who thought that air-conditioning systems were a must in this climate are pleasantly surprised how this “myth” can be designed out of the building with correct shading and window placement, orientation and elevation.”

The Sunshine Coast design principles emphasise working with the local climate and creating places that respect and incorporate landscape.

Sunshine Coast councillor Maria Suarez said the design strategy sought to “connects residents to nature … as home and building design that are built in other states aren’t always the best fit for our climate.”


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