Casa X is a new single level residence located on Phillip Island, Australia – 140km from Melbourne.

“Phillip Island is a popular coastal destination which consists of a high number of beach houses which lay dormant for many months of the year as well as a high number of permanent residences,” according to Branch Studio Architects.

“Specifically, the area in which Casa X is situated, has a higher ratio of permanent residence to holiday houses.”

“The formal vernacular of the local context is highly conservative, interestingly, most house in the area do not have perimeter fences, particularly those with direct connection to the foreshore and beach.” 

“Paradoxically to the highly conservative nature of the area, a fairly open visual comndition is present. We felt this was a particularly important factor in how we approached the house within its site and surrounds.” 

“As a result, the design of the house within its site and wider surrounds has been designed to become its own ‘compound’ or ‘fence’ of sorts without the need of creating a secondary perimeter.”

“The site is heavily vegetated with a foreshore reserve to the northern boundary, offering no direct beach nor ocean views even at maximum allowable build height.”

“Our client came to us with a single idea of creating a courtyard house, mainly as they wanted a certain level of privacy.”

“We used this as a primary driver but given the nature of the site, particularly the dune-scape to the northern boundary, we felt it was important to re-rationalise the typically closed-off courtyard house model into ‘open courtyard house’ which would allow a certain level of privacy, but importantly, allow the landscape to come into the courtyard and house.