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A Private Sanctuary Hidden in the Rainforest in Byron Bay

Wanting to add a guest retreat to their 20-acre property in Byron Bay, a retired couple hired Harley Graham Architects to design a hidden sanctuary that pays homage to ‘Sydney School’ architect Vale Ian McKay. The design-loving homeowners already had two structures on the property, the family home and a writer’s cabin, both designed by McKay himself before he died in 2015. The guest retreat not only needed to give nod to McKay’s work but they wanted the new build to minimally impact the surrounding rainforest

The one-bedroom, 60-square-meter studio hangs in the rainforest’s canopy making way for views of the Pacific Ocean.

The back of the studio features floor-to-ceiling glass panels that make the interior appear larger than it is. The slanted roof looks as if it’s floating above further making the space feel more open.

The orientation of the unit benefits from the northern winter sun, while shading it from low morning sunlight. Natural ventilation keeps the interior cool, as there’s no air conditioning.

Blackbutt wood covers the floors and walls for a warm and inviting feel, while the outside boasts a durable cor-ten steel exterior.

Photo by Andy MacPherson, courtesy of BowerBird.

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