The Cove House By Justin Humphrey Architect

Cove House is a really interesting project by Justin Humphrey Architect, a true exploration into edges and thresholds. The thresholds appear between private and public space, with a house that blends the exteriors and the interiors. The Cove House covers an area of 470 square meters and can be found in Australia, on the Gold Coast. It was finished in 2018.


The house allows you to quickly interact with the entire neighborhood on 3 sides. Planning restrictions did apply but they were perfectly navigated for a result that is quite great.

As opposed to most of the houses in the neighborhood, the architects decided to communicate and engage materiality to the passing neighbors. The roofline is finely-detailed in an intentional way, right over a concrete easement wall. This instantly adds refinement to concrete and reduces building visual scale. The house simply becomes a part of the neighborhood, even if it is bold in nature.

According to the architect, the client wanted a tactile and materially-rich house that reflects subtropical architecture, all through special interplay noticed between external and internal spaces. Due to this, the concrete wall was built to guide the visitor to an external garden room facing the street. These spaces appeared because of the work of the landscape consultant and a coordination with the architects. This garden room is the initial interaction set between private and public spaces.

In Cove House you can see many interesting smart design and architecture choices. You get access to the open sky, a view of the nearby water and a true immediate immersion into a tropical landscape that offers connection and engagement. You enter the garden room and you still did not get to the front door of the house. Such space creates a private entry to the 2 bedrooms through the external hall. Mature gardens are used to create physical and visual separation.

The house’s ground plane meanders vertically and is articulated, with the goal of encouraging reflection and engagement. While respecting the brief, the architects chose to accommodate daily life intimate patterns without sacrificing the accommodation of larger social gatherings. Various spaces created by the ground plane are organized with the addition of the floating roof plane. This element is simple and strong, a huge part of the design and great work by the entire structural engineering team.

Photographs: Andy Macpherson Studio