What’s a beach house without ocean views? Although Dorman House, a weatherboard beach house in the Great Ocean Road tourism hub of Lorne, was “beloved” by its owners, the building was missing one key ingredient. Determined to attain the views that their home had previously lacked, the owners turned to Melbourne practice, Austin Maynard Architects, for a design that respected and conserved the shack while opening it up to the ocean.   

“How could we add a clear and elevated view of the ocean without demolishing, damaging or dominating our beloved shack?” they questioned prior to giving the brief.

Dorman House as it now stands is a successful response to that question; a timber-box addition that hovers alongside the existing weatherboard shack. This extension sits on top of a structure of industrial-looking posts and beams.


The Austin Maynard-designed addition is lined with Silvertop Ashwood, and contains what almost counts as a second home. The new structure houses a kitchen, a dining room and a living room that is accessed via a spiral metal staircase. Large, glazed windows provide the requisite sweeping ocean views. 


Underneath the living space is an area lined with polycarbonate. Originally designed to accommodate utilities, the space has instead been transformed into an extra bedroom. A raw, concrete floor here recalls its formerly proposed function, reimagined as a robust base for the beach-facing bedroom.


The interior of the original dwelling has also received some attention. While the old house remains mostly as it was, the kitchen was transformed into a second bathroom and laundry.

Dorman House received an Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) at last month’s Victorian Architecture Awards. The project has also been shortlisted for Residential Interior at the 2017 Intergrain Timber Vision Awards.