David Boyle Architect

Legato House

  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_Landscape_01-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/VIEW_DSC_5807.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/MH_Splits_60px_2392x1594px_P5F.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_10_levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Bench-view_DSC8872.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_20_levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_17_levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_09_levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_15_levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_David-Boyle_External-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_David-Boyle_External-10.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MH-2392-x1594px_60px-gutter_spread-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_Landscape_13.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MH-2392-x1594px_60px-gutter_spread-4.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_David-Boyle_External-8.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_David-Boyle_External-6.3.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_David-Boyle_Externa-5.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_59_m.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_63_levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_73_levels-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_41_levels-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_43_levels-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_14_levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_005-levels.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/MH_Splits_60px_2392x1594px_P1F.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_37_levels-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_56_levels-1.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MH-2392-x1594px_60px-gutter_spread-3.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Legato-House_Internal_Landscape_05.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/NEW_Beachview_04_garage.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/WINE_MH-2392-x1594px_60px-gutter.jpg
  • https://www.modernhouse.co/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/MH-2392-x1594px_60px-gutter_spread-2.jpg

Legato House


David Boyle Architect



Interior Design


Landscape Design



Macmasters Beach, Central Coast NSW 2251


4 bed, 2 bath, 2 guest w/c, multiple living, kitchen & 2 further kitchenettes, 2 cars (garaged), pool & pool pavilion


L-shaped, two-storey house surrounded by courtyards & garden


© Brigid Arnott



Bounded by National Parks and with views out to the ocean, Legato House offers coastal living at its best, most thoughtful and inventive. Originally designed by David Boyle Architect, the property was recently reimagined by the architect along with interior designers Arent&Pyke and landscape design by Pangkarra. It is a house that draws out the very best from its location and takes many of its cues from nature.

Comprising four bedrooms, two bathrooms, an open-plan living, dining and kitchen area opening to an oversized entertaining deck with ocean views, the house is surrounded by a native garden with an emphasis on vegetation endemic to the area, and has a mineral pool with a striking pool pavilion. The flexible floor plan allows for separate accommodation downstairs with another generous living space opening to the garden.

Few houses are so detailed in finish and highly specified; lights; heating/cooling; garden irrigation; audio; security and a Tesla Powerwall can all be controlled from a phone – even the pool cover. And yet, the technology is recessed, allowing everything to work and be easily managed. The experience of being at the house is an overwhelming sense of calm.

A casual, understated luxury that seems to slow time – to watch the light at various times of day, or listen to birdsong and the waves.

Australian coastal living at its best, most thoughtful and inventive.”

Modern House Estate Agents

The Design

Once you leave Kincumber, an hour-and-a-half from Sydney, the last few kilometres of the drive to Macmasters Beach meanders through coastal bushland and gentle rural scenery and the city is left behind. In the quiet streets of Macmasters, the Legato House sits comfortably and discreetly; on a spring morning, with the front garden full of native flowers, the birdsong in the trees and hum of bees blend with the sound of the waves. Experiencing the Legato House is what it’s all about – this is not a house that is desperate to be noticed.

Instead, it’s one that allows the visitor or resident to slow down, to observe, to take note. To linger in the densely planted front garden – with its native orchids and violets, geebung and midyim berries, tree ferns, and other species endemic to the coastal heath, and inspired by the nearby Bouddi National Park. It can take time to reach the steps to the house – broad slabs that lead past a native lily pond, the detailing on its rough sawn concrete walls echoing the black timber battens of the house cladding.

At the coast, it’s often appealing to be outside more often than in. Here, the temptation is to walk straight through the house and experience more of the garden, sensitively and cleverly designed by James Headland of Pangkarra, which is such an essential element of Legato House. To walk straight through the downstairs living area and outside again, to experience the adjoining amphitheatre-like space formed as the landscaped boundary wall and the house wrap around to create a sheltered granite paved ‘room’.

Furnished with a built-in mild steel and ironbark bench, informal granite boulder seating, steps which double as seating, and outdoor shower, this is a space that works well whether occupied by one person or a crowd.

Or continue around to an intimate courtyard, with water feature, leading off one of the downstairs bedrooms – an instantly calming experience – or round again, past the immaculately organised storage room to the raised vegetable beds running along the side of the house.

Take another route, though, and the pool pavilion is the destination – a playfully curvaceous concrete cabana – a place for entertainment or to hide away – which looks back over the mineral pool to the house and garden, with its sequence of rainforest, coastal heath, sclerophyll and riparian zones.

And then it’s back to the house, which is cleverly divided too into areas of differing moods. Downstairs, with its three bedrooms with built-ins, bathroom and laundry, and intimate sitting room with fireplace, there’s a definite air of sanctuary. It’s a night-time area, a winter area, an area to hunker down in and, with built-in cocktail cabinet and record cabinet, a grown-up area. It’s a place to observe and engage with the garden but, equally, a place to retreat from the outside world.

The enclosed stairway to the upper level gives no hint as to what is to come – the open-plan hoop-pine-ceilinged living/dining/kitchen area, when revealed, is a delight and comes as a complete surprise, in dramatic contrast to its counterpart downstairs. It’s a generously sized room, flexible in layout and European in feel, with plenty of space to gather and socialise, along with spots for quiet contemplation, including a window seat overlooking the front garden. The kitchen, with its maple dowel joinery unit and discreet panelled cabinetry, appears as a subtly elegant piece of furniture within the space.

Leading off from the kitchen is an enormous sheltered outdoor room, private from the street but with views to the ocean, and able to be used virtually year-round. Upstairs, too, is the master suite, comprising bedroom, bathroom, dressing room and private sitting area. A narrow window running the length of the bedroom looks straight out into the rustling treetops, focusing the mind back to the outdoors.

It’s a house that, throughout – and that includes the garden – instils a feeling of calm and rewards quiet observation. Through the glimpse of a view down a corridor; the detail on a doorway; a moment of transition between enclosure and openness; the play of shadows on a wall or the breeze through the trees. It is completely at one in its surroundings.


The contemporary Australian beach house vernacular and bush setting of this home have been honoured while incorporating timeless design and global influences – from mid-century Scandinavian to Japanese minimalism, and classic Mediterranean – all represented. The result is confident, authentic, and casual family home – and therefore, unmistakeably Australian.”


Click to view


“This Australian native garden with its close ties to Bouddi National park embraces its connection to landscape and place. Stepped platforms reinstate the natural slope to ensure a strong visual connection through layered textures of riparian, coastal heath planting. The destination pool and cabana sits comfortably oriented towards headland views.”


Awards & Publications


2022 Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) Awards by (inside) magazine: Residential Decoration - Shortlisted

2022 Australian Interior Design Awards (AIDA): Residential Decoration - Commendation

2022 Australian Interior Design Awards (AIDA): Residential Design - Shortlist

2022 HOUSES Awards: Garden or Landscape - Commendation


2022 Arent&Pyke - Interiors Beyond The Primary Palette, Thames and Hudson, Oct 2022

2022 Homes & Gardens (November issue)

2022 Belle (Aug/Sept issue)

Floor Plan


PDF floorplan →



Macmasters Beach, Central Coast NSW 2251


4 bed, 2 bath, 2 guest w/c, multiple living, kitchen & 2 further kitchenettes, 2 cars (garaged), pool & pool pavilion

Approx. gross internal area:

267 sq m (2,874 sq ft)

Approx. gross land area:

695.6 sq m (7,487 sq ft)


Environmental + Structure

North aspect

Designed to maximise cooling NE breezes and protect from Southerly winds

Topology of block protects from Western sun

Passive design - natural / cross ventilation

E-performance glass, double glazing and Centor screens throughout

10,000 L concrete rainwater tank under driveway + irrigation

Native vegetation and low water-use planting

16.5kw LG solar panel array with Enphase micro inverters and Tesla Powerwall

All structures on concrete slab

Wall construction upgraded to high-performance insulation

New zinculume roof


Expressions of Interest

EOI Guide: $7.65M

View: By Appointment

Modern House Estate Agents
National: 1300 814 768
International: +61 2 8014 5363
Email: viewings@modernhouse.co


Positioned on the South-Eastern parameter of the Central Coast in one of the area’s most exclusive enclaves, Macmasters Beach is a popular surfing hotspot nestled between Copacabana Beach and Little Beach, bordered by Cockrone Lagoon on one side and the great green swathe of the Bouddi National Park on the other.

Unlike its bustling neighbour Terrigal, which caters to tourists with large-scale amenities and an entertainment precinct, Macmasters offers a more pared-back experience with local cafes and convenience shops close to the beach, along with the Surf Life Saving Club, a natural hub for both the local community and visitors alike.

Cockrone Lagoon separates the beachfront from neighbouring Copacabana Beach to the north and with Second Point headland towering above the shoreline to the south, forming a bay that offers ideal surfing conditions.

For swimmers, the beach itself is patrolled by professional Central Coast Council lifeguards from Monday till Friday, with weekends and public holidays duties being taken up by volunteers from Surf Life Saving NSW. The tidal rockpool at the sheltered southern end of the beach provides the perfect spot to take smaller children for a dip away from the waves. There is also an off-leash dog-friendly area running from the southern end of Copacabana Beach down to Macmasters Beach ending near Gerda Rd.

The more adventurous will find the Bouddi coastal walk south of Macmasters a wild paradise – with the pristine secluded beaches of Little Beach, Bullimah Beach and Maitland Bay. Unforgettable seascapes boast island blue water framed by bushland. Whale watching and the famous Maitland Bay 1898 shipwreck is visible at low tide. For further bush and ocean vista experiences, visit Box Head and Tallow Beach, located in an extension of the National Park on the far side of the community of Killcare.

With a population of just over one thousand, located just 80 kilometres north of Sydney and only fifteen minutes by car from the lively Erina/Gosford shopping / commercial district, Macmasters Beach is regarded as one of the unspoiled areas of the NSW Central Coast. This unique seaside locale retains a residential character in the distinctly rural nature of its surrounding landscape, making it a popular choice for those seeking a lifestyle that combines the feel of a quiet retreat with close proximity to urban services.



David Boyle is the founder and director of a multi-award-winning practice, established in 2002. Living and working in Pretty Beach, adjacent to Bouddi National Park on the Central Coast, his projects are consistently awarded at state and national levels. The Australian Institute of Architects’ website states, “David creates artfully composed houses infused with a playful celebration of domestic life.” – a perfect summary. We have had the pleasure of following the practice’s work for many years and are privileged that Legato House ‘House Revisited’, DBA’s most recently completed project, is the first DBA project that we have represented for sale.

The client of Legato House can attest that David is known for creating carefully considered work that has a strong connection to landscape. This sensitivity to place and creative exploration is wonderfully manifested in the projects he works on with his close friend and fellow resident of the Central Coast, James Headland of Pangkarra landscape design.

So much so, that in researching the background and chronology of Legato House, it became clear that there was a true collaboration of ideas between the designers. The outcome demonstrates a high degree of personal and professional trust. It is rare to see a project where the architecture and landscape design so seamlessly complement each other.

David Boyle Architect is an A+ member of the Australian Institute of Architects and a strong advocate of promoting architectural design, a teacher, Associate Lecturer, guest critic and keynote speaker. David is also a ceramic artist and incorporates his ceramics into his architecture wherever possible. Those with an eagle eye may spot a motif that has been set into the off-form concrete, somewhere…

NB: Legato House is DBA's most recently published project

Photo: Brett Boardman

Architect's drawings

Interior Design drawings

Landscape Design drawings


The result is a calming, serene home that, come twilight, just glows. ”

Belle magazine, Aug/Sep 2022

Indoor Outdoor

Legato House quietly optimises its location and takes many of its cues from nature, surrounded by a native garden with flora endemic to the area, the house draws you outside, to one of its many ‘outdoor rooms’;

– the ‘amphitheatre’ with built-in seating, massive granite blocks and concrete steps – enjoyed by two people or twenty, is protective and private;

– the mineral pool with its striking pool pavilion designed by David Boyle is deliberately playful as a destination for lazy days by the pool or cocktails at dusk, the hidden kitchenette makes spending time around the pool so easy;

– the oversized entertaining deck, off the main kitchen enjoys fabulous ocean views to Tudibaring Head;

– or the quiet calm of the small courtyard with a water feature that is so simple, but so clever in execution.

Inside or out, there are so many surprising moments to savour, from glimpses, to sightlines and long views, comfortable spots to enjoy, whatever the weather – to be constantly charmed and surprised by a house that reveals itself gradually and calmly. We look forward to welcoming you to this exemplar of coastal living.


Expressions of Interest

EOI Guide: $7.65M

View: by Appointment

Modern House Estate Agents
National: 1300 814 768
International: +61 2 8014 5363
Email: viewings@modernhouse.co