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Sym Studio are thrilled to have our work for Avalon Beach Place Vision featured as a Case Study in the inaugural issued of ‘In Place’, an innovative online magazine published by Place Leaders Asia Pacific. The inaugural issue is titled ‘Connected in Place’ and showcases the variety of disciplines involved in the ever evolving identity of ‘Place Leadership’ and inspires us in imagining what the future of our places could be.

Read the full article here

The Avalon Beach Cultural Mapping Project is focused on celebrating and documenting Avalon Beach’s rich cultural assets and at the same time providing a tool for future planning and development. This innovative project includes a Youth Mapping Project that provides Barrenjoey High School students from years 9 and 10 a voice in the cultural planning process and a unique opportunity to work with local artist mentors to create artworks to be showcased at Avalon Market Day 2016.

The project will build upon the Avalon Beach Vision and ensure future planning acknowledges the rich cultural and creative diversity of Avalon Beach.

This grass roots initiative is hosted by Eramboo Artist Environment, supported by Avalon Preservation Association and coordinated by a small team of professional volunteer locals with in-principle support from the Northern Beaches Council. Volunteer sponsors are Sue Boaden Cultural Planner, Sym Studio, Martin McCallum Producer, Simone Jarvis Real Estate and Kay Richardson of Young Gourmet.

Avalon Beach Youth Youth Cultural Mapping Poster pdf

Avalon Beach Vision document pdf

Are you getting the most out of your waterfront position?

Our team has compiled a succinct list to show you how to maximize access, reduce maintenance, express a unique style and navigate the approvals process. As part of our research the team took a boat trip around Pittwater to collect a photographic record and demonstrate some of the most important aspects of designing a home on the waterfront.

Our Top 4 Design Considerations
  1. Development Application Considerations
  • Neighbor Interface. Study the boundary implications of your proposed works. Privacy, shade, drainage and views are critical factors to consider for your property as well as the neighbors. Early consultation can aid in favorable neighbor relations during the approvals process. To mitigate the development impacts consider boundary wall and fencing step-downs that are sympathetic to neighboring views.
  • Protect Existing Native Vegetation. Value existing vegetation as an asset rather than an inconvenience. Whilst widened water views might be alluring – large established trees provide much needed scale to the site and compliment the built form to ensure the building appears situated within its surrounds. (Not to mention the provision of local habitat and strict council controls)
  • Re-Habilitate & Re-Vegetate. Refer to the endemic vegetation community that is naturally found on your site as a useful indicator of what plants will be well suited for the site conditions and provide appropriate habitat to attract local wildlife.
  1. Slope Stability & Access

Waterfront properties typically have significant grade changes to access the water.

  • 3:1 angle of repose. This rule of thumb is the steepest grade achievable without slipping.
  • Maintenance. Consider the level of maintenance required for different landscape areas and how they will be accessed e.g access for equipment such as lawn mowers.
  • Water Access. Use the waterfront transition as an opportunity for an experiential journey. Meandering paths and landings can take advantage of key viewpoints as well and provide for rest spots and entertaining spaces. The treatment style will also have a visual impact when viewed from the water.
  • Inclinators. Consider access both to and from the water. Inclinators can be a very functional solution to the practicalities of a waterfront lifestyle but keep in mind the associated council requirements for 2 meter offset from the boundary and practicalities to achieving access to a mutli-storey property.
  1. Boat Sheds & Watercraft storage (Amenities & storage)
  • Storage. Consider your storage requirements. Water recreation equipment such as surfboards, paddle boards and kayaks can take up valuable waterfront space and appear untidy if not pre-considered.
  • Amentity. A Boat shed can also provide guest accommodation and complete the picture of the ultimate/quintessential Pittwater waterfront.
  1. Materials & Style
  • Plant Pallette. Choose hardy species with an ‘almost native’ plant palette. Using predominantly natives with a few feature exotics will achieve council BASIX requirements and ensure the landscape responds well to the front line salt laden winds that come with waterfront properties. A well considered plant palette can ensure your landscape endures the test of time and thrives rather than suffers in the harsh waterfront environment.
  • Materials. Incorporate materials that compliment the local context such as stone and timber. Consider the longevity of materials, how they will endure constant exposure to the elements and how the sites grade change/verticality will be interpreted when viewed from the water. The repetition of large retaining walls and intensive staircases can result in a harsh design outcome. A ‘soft touch’ to the landscape treatment with natural boulders, sloped walls that work with the topography, semi transparent balustrades and lightweight staircases/structures can improve visual amenity, user experience and aid in favorable council approval.

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