Ala Moana, Hamilton Island Residence, Australia Residential Building Photo, Design, Property Image

Ala Moana – Hamilton Island Residence

New House in Australia design by Omiros One Architecture (O1A)

2 Aug 2010

Ala Moana – Hamilton Island Property

Design: Omiros One Architecture (O1A)


Ala Moana takes its name from the Hawaiian term “ocean pathways.” Designed by Omiros One Architecture (O1A), this five bedroom luxury residence commands endless ocean views from atop a steeply inclined site on Hamilton Island in the heart of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and combines a relaxed tropical resort ambience with elegance, sophistication, privacy, tranquillity and the most luxurious tropical living.

Ala Moana Residence Hamilton Island house

The architectural design process involved meeting all objectives of the client brief whilst responding to the unique site conditions, environmental imperatives and planning requirements. The project was challenging on many different levels:

– the sloping terrain,
– the compelling views,
– the environmentally sensitive location,
– the requirement to integrate with its the natural setting

Ala Moana Residence Hamilton Island house

The house is sited and designed to maximize the views and take advantage of the uniqueness of the location and natural layout whilst:

– minimizing the impact on the land
– keeping the movement of earth to a minimum
– conserving and enhancing the features of the natural terrain
– minimizing potential overlooking from future developments around it
– capturing the desired prevailing winds in summer
– minimizing exposure to the undesirable winter winds

Ala Moana Residence Hamilton Island house

One key issue considered by the architect was how the architecture could be viewed and appreciated by the visitor from close up on such a steep site. The solution was to design a meandering buggy path which approaches the house from below, a journey of discovery with different aspects, textures and functions unfolding slowly at close range, including such features as the stepped layout of the building and the sheet of water cascading down the slope and reflecting the sky from within.

The pathway which is only buggy accessible circumnavigates the building and finally brings the visitor to the entry where the glass-edged double doors allow the first glimpse of the best attribute of the site, the breathtaking view.

Ala Moana Residence Hamilton Island house

Once inside, the architecture becomes a series of frames for the view, working hand in hand with the surrounds to enhance the experience. The internal reflective pool rolls through the site to the open view at front, fusing with the sky and appearing to spill into the ocean beyond. The spaces are flexible and easily adaptable to various uses as well as to the climate. The inside becomes the outside and the swimming pool becomes the focal point of the living space.

Another key concern of the design process was how to reduce the visual impact of the new structure. This was achieved by breaking down the mass of the building into smaller articulated parts; four main volumes of different heights, each crowned with curved, wing-like zinc roofs.

These volumes are set at different levels to follow the natural ground slope with minimal cutting into the site; their materiality further reduced by opening large areas of the envelope with full-height glazed folding doors. The result is a lightness and transparency which is not typical of the dominant architectural character of the island.

The design responds to the orientation and microclimate of the site, drawing in the cooling ocean breezes from below via the rosewood-framed folding glass doors which open onto generous outdoor terraces, the infinity-edge pool and a lush garden backdrop. Summer shade is maximized by the generous roof overhangs, slatted cedar screens and strategically-placed trees.

Ala Moana Hamilton Island Residence Ala Moana Hamilton Island Hamilton Island Residence Ala Moana

The shady terraces, harmonious exterior colour scheme and carefully selected planting all combine to diffuse the perimeter and help to integrate the building form with the natural character of the site. Planting has also been located to protect the privacy of the occupants within as well as the privacy of the adjoining properties.

‘Quartz’ coloured zinc was selected for its neutral tone and ability to blend in with the environment, its timeless yet contemporary quality and its durability in the climatic extremes with minimal maintenance.It is also a naturally occurring material and fully recyclable.

Box gutters and landscaping finishes are designed to accommodate potential overflows from heavy tropical rains and minimize site erosion through the incorporation of gravel drainage aprons, limited hard finishes and appropriate planting to help maintain the stability of the sloping site.

The interior design is characterized by a comfortable, relaxed yet sophisticated beach style. Interior and exterior spaces are integrated through a palette of natural, warm-toned, quality materials such as stone, rosewood, dark and blonde timbers that feature in both the bedrooms and the central living spaces. Wherever possible, materials were selected to meet sustainable criteria such as low embodied energy, low environmental impact and recyclability.

The building can be classified as both sea-side residence and luxury resort, of a typically Australian character, and Ala Moana evolves this specific typology through its seamless integration of indoor and outdoor living spaces, combination of spaciousness with private and intimate zones, resort grandeur with human scale, opulence with earthy tones and natural materials.

Ala Moana goes beyond sustainable design as an environmentally responsive building; it allows the visitor to connect with the natural world, to experience and fall in love with the awe-inspiring setting and in the process gain a deeper understanding of the beauty and fragility of the natural environment and our responsibility towards it.

Ala Moana Hamilton Island Residence Ala Moana Hamilton Island Hamilton Island Residence Ala Moana

Omiros One Architecture (O1A) is a design-orientated practice with a focus on environmental sustainability. Based in Melbourne and Abu Dhabi, O1A is currently involved in projects across the Middle East, India, China and Australia, including the prestigious Yas Island Yacht Club in Abu Dhabi which is set to open its doors by February 2010.

Hamilton Island Residence images / information from Omiros One Architecture (O1A)

Omiros One Architecture (O1A)

Location: Hamilton Island, Australia

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