On the edge of the Narrabeen Lagoon, a residence overlooking a wild, untouched island covered in casuarina trees, shelters contemporary living spaces for a lucky family. The street view hides the lagoon beyond and conveys a comfortable feeling of suburbia. The architects from Choi Ropiha Fighera found themselves “drawn to the suburban qualities of the street and this dramatic contrast between the front and back of the property“. Behind the levelled street facade, the residence opens to the panoramic views with its multitude of large glazed windows. Replacing a former 1970s cream brick house, the Narrabeen House in Sydney, Australia showcases a cascading display of rooms. The street level houses the entrance, driveway and garage, while the next cluster of spaces – living room, dining room, kitchen, study and pool – are gathered around a centrally situated courtyard. This allows the rooms to visually communicate with each other. The architects explain their work: “the planning is composed to deliberately isolate the occupant from the suburban surrounds to heighten the sense of oasis and privateness. This process begins at the street bringing visitors through a succession of exterior spaces that gradually compress and remove the street context through a composition of fences, full height screens and thresholds. The entry sequence eventually terminates at a solid doorway where the sense of intrigue peaks. Rather than entering into a hallway, one arrives in the courtyard where the full extent of the private domain, the lagoon and island are revealed and any sense of the outside world removed.