A Serene And Spectacular Multi-Generational Beach House
This sweeping beach house is undeniably striking now, but the architecture was designed to get better with time, aging into the backdrop of its coastal bush location.
Wellard Architects principal Huw Wellard says his team was given an ‘open brief’ by the owners. The couple engaged the Melbourne-based architecture and design studio to create a ‘flexible’ holiday home for themselves, with enough space for their extended family, right on the edge of Somers Beach.
‘We wanted a building that would soften into its landscape, and improve over time,’ Huw says.
This idea comes to life in the main house, with an expressed steel grid anchored into the deepest section of the site. It’s clad entirely in blackbutt timber, complete with matching decking, which has already ‘silvered off’ beautifully to match the established banksia trees that envelop the unique abode. Huw adds that the painted steel has settled to a muted grey, blending harmoniously into the landscape, designed by Fiona Brockoff.
In line with the client’s request for a multi-generational floorplan, the upper level contains the main bedroom and living zones, where the couple eventually plan to reside full-time.
A central double sided fireplace acts as both a centrepiece and room divider in the open-plan space, adding to the warm atmosphere of the blackbutt lining across the ceiling, walls, and joinery.
Everything has been shaped around the views, including the spectacular lap pool that runs the full length of the building, overlooking the treetop canopies to the sparkling water of Westernport Bay.
A covered external staircase leads downstairs to a series of bedrooms with private balconies and ensuites, in addition to a second living area for visiting family and guests, while breezeway links provide direct access to the garden and the foreshore.
Huw says they found inspiration for the home’s look and feel in their redesign of a dilapidated 1950s boat shed that was already on the property. The old shed was replaced with a new structure featuring the same blackbutt timber cladding (both inside and out) that they carried through to the main dwelling.
‘It’s a miniature version of the main house, and sits so calmly on dunes of Somers Beach,’ he adds. In addition to offering storage, it’s now a much-loved beach refuge where the family go for some respite from the summer sun.
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