Intergrain UltraClear, a clear water based timber finish was specified by the architects for a new home located on the spectacular coastline of the Great Ocean Road. Intergrain UltraClear not only brings out the beauty of the timber materials used in the home but also provides long-term protection against the harsh elements of the coastal environment.

Nestled on the edge of the ocean, the new Fairhaven home has been designed by ITN Architects to respond to its natural surroundings. Purposefully designed to be subservient to the beautiful coastal environment, the home’s exterior has been clad in locally sourced silvertop ash that, when aged, will disappear into the surrounding trees.

The beach house interior is a dramatic departure from city living, featuring walls and ceilings strikingly lined in hoop pine plywood, echoing the surrounding sand and fauna, and providing a stark contrast to the typical urban plasterboard home.

The all-timber design gives the house a sense of warmth and familiarity. A long spine of shelves runs the length of the house, covering the lounge, dining area, kitchen, and hallway. The lower level has a sealed concrete slab, while upstairs, recycled blackbutt timber floorboards flow throughout. 

ITN project architect Aidan Halloran explained that their clients asked for low-maintenance finishes and materials, with absolutely no plasterboard; it was important for the homeowners that the look and feel of the home didn’t in any way connect to city living.

Intergrain UltraClear was used on the interior plywood and window frames that stretch throughout the majority of the home, protecting them from the harsh elements. The tough, clear water based finish safeguards the timber from the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays and, unlike oil-based coatings, will not yellow over time.

According to Aidan, the finishes needed to let the natural beauty and simplicity of the timber materials shine through, while also protecting them from the destructive elements of the Great Ocean Road.

The focus on simplicity in the beach home design has helped create a stimulating retreat from the city that puts its occupants in the centre of its coastal charm.