Concealed by the dense scrub of the Mornington Peninsula, Steffen Welsch Architects’ Beach Slice is a sanctuary away from civilization that is prepared for retirement years by the sea.
The house is designed to encourage activities aside from the norm: immersing oneself within the local ecosystem, sitting out amongst the stars and enjoying the peace and quiet. As opposed to creating a grand home of monolithic proportions, Steffen Welsch opted for a straightforward build that is more than happy to blend into the background of the bushland.
Beach Slice is devised as two halves, with a communal wing and bedroom wing. The division of the two halves is emphasised with the intersection of two triangles. The thickness of the laminated veneer lumber walls increases the functionality of the home, giving the occupants integrated storage space and window seats to the natural setting.
Steffen Welsch’s expertise in sustainable design made them the perfect match for the clientele, who are an environmentally conscious couple. The home was designed in a way to minimise embodied energy during construction, as well as not to disrupt the local ecosystem. The house utilises passive solar design techniques, solar control, zoning and compartmentalization, high thermal mass, insulation and cross ventilation to maximise sustainability. The dwelling is highly insulated, with double-glazed doors and windows, with a concrete slab and recycled bricks maintaining temperature and furthering the sustainable capabilities of the design.
Integrating seamlessly amongst its immediate landscape, Beach Slice provides relief from the atypical stresses associated with city life. The dwelling’s straightforward and sustainable design is directly informed by Austrian architect Hermann Czech’s interpretation of ‘architecture as background’, ensuring the natural landscape takes centre stage, with Beach Slice providing a space to immerse oneself.