Norfolk Burleigh Heads by Koichi Takada Architects


Drawing inspiration from local Norfolk pines, the latest mixed-use residential project by Koichi Takada Architects is a sculptural and sympathetic addition to its coastal location in Burleigh Heads (Queensland, Australia). The organic, overlapping architectural curves and linear screening form the basis for this responsive building with passive design principles at play.

Designed to appreciate the 1,012 square-meter beachfront site on Goodwin Terrace at the southern end of Burleigh Heads Beach, the north facing 10-storey structure provides 15 unique apartments, two dual level penthouses with private rooftop pools, and impressive ground floor wellbeing amenities for residents to enjoy the prime location year-round, including a gym, outdoor pool and sauna.

A delicate balance of form, composition and nature
Located on a revered strip of Australian coastline – an architectural landscape that was left largely unaltered for almost three decades – it was vital that this development was respectful yet regenerative and at one with the pristine location. Fronting the Southern end of Burleigh Heads Beach, the expansive views up the coast and out to the ocean are framed by heritage-listed Norfolk Pine Trees, from which the project draws inspiration.

“Norfolk’s sculptural façade references the inner workings of the Norfolk pines, a natural icon in the Gold Coast region. Just like their pinecones protect its seeds from bad weather and open when in ideal natural settings, Norfolk’s architecture can be adapted to protect residents from the elements or opened up to take in the 300 days of subtropical sunshine and stunning natural surroundings.”

Its floating balcony slabs are strategically overlapped to provide shade to the outdoor spaces below, and sliding slatted screening can be positioned for privacy or protection from the elements in the same way the pinecone protects the Norfolk Pine’s seeds. Tapered slab edges project past glazed balustrades and curved line of the balconies to reflect natural and ambient light deep into the apartments.

Curved horizontal battens form a central spine of this sculptural building and accentuate the organic expression of the design. Acting as a sun-shading element during summer, they also provide privacy while simultaneously playing to the strengths of nature in allowing for uninterrupted ocean views.

An architectural statement reflecting the surrounding natural landscape and lifestyle
The design places a great importance on framing the panoramic ocean views and making them backdrops to the open living spaces, using clean lines and natural materials, inspired by the east coast of Australia, to create a sense of invisible architecture. The apartment layouts maximise passive solar design and enhance beachside living; capitalising on views, natural light and open plan living.

North facing apartments showcase 180-degree views of the coastline, each apartment arranged to benefit from cross ventilation and natural light. The living spaces open out to generous balconies with full-height sliding doors and retractable screens. Generous rooftop terraces are the private domain of the two the top-level apartments, offering dining and entertainment areas, private lap pools and a lush, landscaped perimeter for each.

The materiality is informed by the surrounding landscape, the hues and textures of the sand, water, trees and sky make a building that sits comfortably within its beachside surroundings yet has its own identity. Natural timber floors through the apartments connect visually with the external spaces and allow living spaces to spill out to generous balconies, blurring the definition between inside and out.

Norfolk’s adaptable architecture suits the changing climate and ever evolving coastal environment, by designing sliding timber screens we’ve heightened the natural softness of the form and provided greater flexibility for each apartment. The design interacts with nature and is very much about creating breathing space for an incomparable beachfront living experience” says Koichi Takada. Source by Koichi Takada Architects.