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Breathtaking Palm Beach build named Qld Home of the Year

Viva Hyde

Viva Hyde, Property Journalist

The Courier-Mail

Riviera at Palm Beach is Qld Home of the Year. Inset: Mactech director Nick McDonald with wife, Brigette, and their baby girl, Elka


A Gold Coast builder known for on-trend coastal projects has taken out Queensland Home of the Year for a breathtaking oceanfront house designed for a local property developer.

But Mactech Constructions director Nick McDonald missed collecting the prestigious gong as he was occupied attending another personal milestone — the birth of his baby girl, Elka.

Mactech won the top prize at the 2022 HIA-CSR Queensland Housing Awards for Riviera, a “brutalist-inspired” family home at Palm Beach built for BluePoint Property boss, Geordie Whitcombe, and his wife, Brittany.

Nick’s brother, Jordan, and his wife, Ruby, “held it down for the team”, taking the stage at a gala ceremony to accept the trophies as the company director’s wife, fashion model Brigette Cooper, was in labour with their first child at John Flynn Hospital.

The house was designed around a central courtyard


The luxury build was completed in 2021


Riviera also took out the Custom Built Home of the Year category, while Mactech scored another prize for Villa of the Year for Jefferson, a stunning beachside residence at Palm Beach which sold this year for $3.85m.

Judges said Riviera exuded, “minimalist grandeur with its simple palette of materials belying the scale and complexity of the project”.

The home was designed by Brisbane architect, Joe Adsett, whose family had coincidentally held the prized 1,194sq m block before it was sold to the Whitcombes for $6.2m in 2019.

The build was completed in 2021.

Off-form white concrete shaped the structure, from its thick slab roof to the smoothly contoured walls and floors.

Blackbutt shiplap cladding was used to powerful effect, curving along the facade and warming both public and private areas of the five-bedroom, three-bathroom house.

Glimpse the ocean as soon as you pull into the three-car garage


Views take centre stage


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The home was elevated, with 3.5m recessed glass used to maximise ocean views, while an internal courtyard and pool partitioned the large kitchen and living area from the three-car garage and pool room without distracting from its open floorplan.

The property also won top honours from Channel Nine’s Australia’s Best House program.

Mr McDonald said it was dubbed the “Hidden House” because its C-shaped design concealed functional detail while directing energy towards the ocean.

“All you see from the street is some off-form concrete gates, but when you pull up into the garage and through into the courtyard it’s just ocean everywhere, which is pretty special,” Mr McDonald said.

“Often, simplicity gets confused with being easier, but with off-form concrete it’s a pretty stressful process because you’re stuck with what you get.

“But when it’s done right, it’s a pretty amazing result.”

Off-form concrete and smooth curves


The home capitalises on the block’s wide frontage


Mr Adsett said the generous size and frontage of the block allowed the house to be built over one level, while the central courtyard provided a tranquil retreat from, “what can at times be a very intense marine environment”.

“The client was resolved to build the house to the highest quality in concrete and so the main frame of the house is designed and built as almost perfect off-form white concrete,” Mr Adsett said.

“The material palette has been softened with blackbutt timber detailing of cabinetry and feature walls.”

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