Wolveridge Architects have called on robust materials and contextually considered design to create a pensive beach house for their clients at Eltham South House in Blairgowrie, Victoria.

The architects note that their clients sought somewhat of a dualistic space for their new home in Eltham South, one that called to mind their beach house upbringing but also established a place of refuge from the city.

The solution is a four module construct, wrapped in a mixture of horizontal hardwood cladding and laser cut steel pergolas and screens that direct unique shading patterns into the interior spaces.

The house is perched midway up a sand dune on a sloping site of rammed earth, mulch and native plants.

“The clients for this project had a great emphasis that their beach house should evoke their own childhood memories but equally it should be a place where they could forego thoughts and reminders of life back in the city,” said Wolveridge Architects in a submission to the AIA Awards. 

“The building is a simplistic structure which defers to a mid-century modernist approach in its pragmatically modulated plan and its elevated structural system; yet, for the occupants, it engenders images of their own histories further with the tactile use of materials, textures and tones which enrich the building’s visual and physical connection to the site itself.” 

The building comprises two living zones which are intersected by an open planned service area and lower level living room.

Bedrooms on the south side of the building are northwest orientated and enjoy morning summer sun through operable windows, while the bathrooms and kitchen are naturally lit by double glazed Low E skylights. 

The design is heavily reliant on naturally ventilation and no mechanical air conditioning has been used for the project.

All habitable rooms have therefore been designed to naturally ventilate, with openables on at least two sides of each room and internal louvres located adjacent to each of the bedroom doors.

The architects recruited mainly recycled timbers for walling and furniture elements throughout the house. Recycled plywood packing crates stained in Black Ash timber stain by Cutek and double laminated formply boxes are examples of this - both make for interesting shelving and storage units in the bedrooms and living room. 

A key design element of the project is the Dulux black ceilings which frame the north facing courtyard from the inside, juxtaposing the textured sun light that penetrates the space through laser cut skylights.

The bathroom also continues this theme with a dark and glossy heat treated mild steel used on the walls, which again contrast with the choice of light coloured mosaics on the floor.

The house was a recent recipient of the Excellence in Timber Design - Rising Star at the Australian 2014 Australian Timber Design Awards.

Images: Derek Swalwell.