A Tribute To Australian Design Excellence

Steve Cooper, Gerard Roof distributor in Queensland,
was ecstatic to learn that Mali Mali Private Villa, designed by internationally acclaimed and multi award winning architectural designer Chris Vandyke, was awarded” Australia’s Best House,” by the Australian Master Builders Association and also won “Queensland’s Best House in 2008.”Mali Mali is an example of the exceptional design flair where Vandyke brings the best of Tropical Asian and Mediterranean design influences together to create a
truly distinctive Australian style.

Nestled atop Mount Somerset, its magnificent vantage point allows for a 360 degree panoramic vista. When arriving or leaving by Helicopter from the landing pad to the rear of the nest, one can experience the majesty of soaring like an Eagle into a vast landscape of unparalleled beauty.

The name Mali Mali is an Aboriginal word meaning “Butterfly”. Mali Mali is the right name for this home. It’s a home that is sensitive, intimate, delicate and stunningly beautiful in an incredible natural environment.

Mali Mali is strategically placed to take full advantage of views. Views that extend from the Daintree National Park to the West, Cape Tribulation and Snapper Island to the North, East is the Coral Sea and great Pacific Ocean and to the South, can be seen Port Douglas.  Prevailing wind direction, orientation to the suns position and working with the environment provide a practical and comfortable living space for its owners and guests. Amenities such as tennis court, helicopter pad and garaging have been located with care and attention to orientation and live-ability.

The home, a pavilion type arrangement, consists of an entrance pavilion, living pavilion, master bedroom pavilion and a guest pavilion all connected with a timber rafted spine alongside a watercourse. Mali Mali combines the best of Tropical design with the traditional Queensland vernacular of the veranda, defining a distinct, emerging North Queensland style. Rich natural timber posts and walls, and dark grey nonreflective metal tile roof complement the natural earthy tones of the rendered block walls.

The entrance, a day-bed pavilion, crosses the plant filled watercourse. Green tree frogs inhabit the foliage and bounce about during the night catching their evening meal.

The living pavilion, the jewel in the crown, marks the entertainment wing of the house. It consists of an open plan kitchen, dining and living area with an adjoining media room. It’s a masterpiece of handcrafted workmanship. The timber raftered and clad ceiling exemplifies the traditions of South East Asia and has become its own tradition here in tropical North Queensland.

Immediate access is gained onto the terrace where dining can be enjoyed in the balmy tropical days and nights. The pool, with wet edge, feels as if it cascades into the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean beyond.  A pool with a view during the day, but at night, the atmosphere changes and it’s as if one is floating in mid air.

Privacy with views is always hard to achieve, but here at Mali Mali, because of the topography, it is possible. Each of the bedrooms extends out into their own private courtyards, each with a spectacular view. Low height rough dry-stone walls and sensitive native planting bring the surrounding greater landscape within reaching distance. The bathrooms too extend out into the environment and allow its visitors to enjoy the sensuality of outdoor bathing in the warmth of the tropical climate.

Each of the pavilions exudes style and warmth with the use of natural stone floors, timber exposed rafters and ceiling linings. Each uses the raked ceilings to create a valuable lofty volume.

The local climate in Miallo, North Queensland is warm typically experiencing high humidity, with a stable average temperature range of around 32 degrees Celsius. It has a high rainfall for three to four months during the wet season and long periods of dry sunny weather throughout the remainder of the year. Cyclone conditions are possible. The designer consulted local climatic data and surveyed the site extensively to be aware of and utilise those factors favourable to passive environmental design.

The building site area was selected to have minimum impact on the local site environment and to maximise views. The chosen building pad was on a flat area of the site, cleared by previous owners. This reduced the impact on the precious ecology.

The designers choice of a Gerard Roof indicates, to Steve Cooper, an acceptance of the Gerard brand in a very competitive market that traditionally has been dominated by concrete roofs. “ The focus of design being large open areas suits our lightweight products and offers an aesthetic point of difference,“ says Steve.” Mali Mali is an exceptional example of architecture and to have been associated with this project and a designer of the calibre of Chris Vandyke has been a rewarding experience.”

The client ,Peter Denman,
enjoyed the process of briefing Chris Vandyke Designs, being involved in the entire decision making process and watching the construction stages on site. Since completion they have enjoyed the spectacular living arena with family and friends. Whilst Mali Mali Is designed as a family retreat it is also available as a premium luxurious holiday retreat for up to eight guests. This seclude location is ranked as one of the best in Australia offering absolute privacy, seclusion, luxury and confidentiality.

Chris Vandyke Designs

Winner of 5 National and 14 State designs, Chris Vandyke Designs specialises in open plan buildings that draw inspiration from Tropical, Asian and Mediterranean influences creating a distinctively Australian style. 

Chris Vandyke is passionate about creating low impact buildings with a small environmental footprint, utilising passive solar design, shading and environmentally sustainable materials.

The focus is on indoor/outdoor living with an emphasis on water features. Working in close consultation with clients the outcome is a functional and livable internal environment that eliminates the need for mechanical heating and cooling.

His wide ranging experience encompasses the design of resorts, luxury homes, beach houses, residences, hotels, schools and cultural centres.

Client: Peter Denman
Mali Mali Private Villa,
Port Douglas, Australia
Telephone: +61 7 4098 1418

Roofing Manufacturer:
Gerard Roofs, New Zealand.
Telephone: 0800 100 244

Profile: Gerard CoronaShake
Colour: Charcoal

Architectural design:
Chris Vandyke Designs
Chris Vandyke
Telephone: +61 7 4038 3000
Fax: +61 7 4038 3300.
Mobile: 0419 779 631
Email: au

Roofing installer:
Genesis Roofing Pty Ltd
Steve Cooper
Telephone: 0419720524