This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

This Circular Beach House Will Put You In A Spin

Architecture

The St Andrews Beach House is an unconventional home, inspired by the New Zealand ‘bach’ – a modest shack that takes you away from the trappings of modern life.

Austin Maynard Architects aim to challenge the replication of suburban homes in beach settings, though interrupting the conventional form with this golden circle!

4th February, 2019

The radiating beams of the St Andrews Beach House by Austin Maynard Architects. Photo- Derek Swalwell.

The design uses circulation rather than corridors to maximise the small footprint. Photo –Derek Swalwell.

Nestled between the sand dunes and the foreshore. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The ground floor comprises of kitchen, living and dining, with a bathroom and laundry. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Without a dominant orientation, every window presents a view! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The house is made from robust materials, that will weather beautifully over time. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A hat box, a cake tin, or a stack of golden rings. The beach house is a designer object in the landscape. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A spiral staircase performs are the core of the house. Photo –Derek Swalwell.

The entire upstairs floor is open-plan bedroom living. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Rich green curtains separate the adaptable sleeping spaces. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A new typology offers a new way of living, outside of the 9-5 grind. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Miriam McGarry
Monday 4th February 2019

If you drive through beachside towns in Australia, you can notice a shift in building typology. The fibro shacks of childhood are slowly being replaced by large-scale suburban style homes, that provide double story views of the ocean. While TDF is no stranger to celebrating monumental architectural homes on the coast – there is something to be said for the delights of the ‘shack’, in offering spatial cues for simpler living. Somewhat ironically, this arresting circular home on the Mornington Peninsula offers an escape from the ‘circle game’ of modern life.

The architects behind the St Andrews Beach House explain ‘Australians have some of the biggest houses in the world, and holiday houses are increasingly becoming carbon copies of the suburban home.’ The owner of this home-in-the-round challenged the architects to design him a ‘bach’ – a New Zealand word to describe a modest dwelling, something akin to the Australian shack or Scottish bothy. The architects highlight how in New Zealand, ‘regardless of how much money you’ve made, you get yourself a bach, and that bach has to be the most basic, down-to-earth thing.’

The cylindrical home is remotely located, on land abutting national parkland, a stones throw away from the foreshore and sand dunes. This isolation offered the architects an opportunity to maximise views in all directions, with a design that deeply responds to a sense-of-place. The double storey circular home is nestled like a designer object in the landscape, and sits at less that five metres in radius.

The design is precise, geometric, and informed by an openness and simplicity of living. The ground floor interior is segmented into independent spaces, with the spiral staircase as a central core. Upstairs, the bedroom is ‘essentially one bunk room, separated by curtains.’

Exposed timber beams fan out through the dwelling, offering golden warmth against the polished concrete floor. The architects explain ‘ The materials have been selected to patina and weather, ‘like an old coastal wharf.’

In refusing to conform to a typical layout, this refined ‘bach’ offers the residents alternative modes of living, and ‘serves to both engage and liberate’. In symbology, the circle represents totality and wholeness. This ‘bach’ is a timeless and unified delight.

This Week

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Trailblazing Curator, Shonae Hobson

Inside the day of Kaantju woman and curator of Indigenous art at the NGV, Shonae Hobson!
Sasha Gattermayr
  17 hours ago

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

News

WIN A One-Of-A-Kind Artwork By Local Artist Dave Kulesza - aka Boris Bombay!

Bombay Sapphire are giving away a nostalgia-fuelled, pop art-esque tiled artwork by Boris Bombay (aka Dave Kulesza) to one lucky winner!
Sponsored

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Stays

Stay Off-Grid In A Tiny House, Or Restored 1890s Hut, On The One NSW Property!

Escape to one of two tiny houses or a restored 1890 hut at Wildernest, located on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands.

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

Arcke architects lifted this Queenslander to accommodate a two-bedroom apartment underneath, and provide better connections to the outdoors
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis

Shopping

The Ultimate Outdoor Furniture Guide

From sleek and chic to fun and playful, here are four different schemes for the outdoor dining situation of your dreams!

Homes

Designer Anna Spiro’s Heavenly Island Home

The celebrated interior designer shares her relaxed yet luxurious Minjerribah/North Stradbroke holiday house.

Architecture

A Minimal Intervention Weatherboard Home Makeover

A Seddon weatherboard renovation by Circle Studio Architects that doesn’t erase its past, but firmly enhances its future.

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Revitalised Barwon Heads Boat Shack

A clever renovation by Irons McDuff Architecture brings this beachside weatherboard home into the ‘now’.

Architecture

A Concrete House In A Coastal Setting

Exploring Australian beachside Brutalism, with 'The Concrete House' by AuHaus in Torquay.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

This House Is A Love Letter To Fitzroy

This impressive renovation in Fitzroy by Austin Maynard Architects wowed the judges at last week's Victorian Architecture Awards.

This Week

Family

Artist Miranda Skoczek On Single Parenting, Smelling The Roses + Spontaneity

Artist Miranda Skoczek shares her multigenerational family life in the Dandenongs with son Harper and aunt Margaret.

News

Save Soho Rose Farm!

Donate to help save Victoria’s most beautiful field-grown roses, after a devastating hail storm. 

On The Market

The Perfect Mid-Century, NSW South Coast Beach House Is For Sale

This mid-century Mollymook Beach house is perfect in its proportions, feel and water views... and it's on the market!

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Turned Multigenerational, Japanese-Inspired Home

Arcke architects lifted this Queenslander to accommodate a two-bedroom apartment underneath, and provide better connections to the outdoors
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Homes

The Experimental Melbourne Home Of Two Artists

The 'warped maximalist colour feast' home of artists Nabilah Nordin and Nick Modrzewski in Newport, Melbourne.

Architecture

A Minimal Intervention Weatherboard Home Makeover

A Seddon weatherboard renovation by Circle Studio Architects that doesn’t erase its past, but firmly enhances its future.

Shopping

The Ultimate Outdoor Furniture Guide

From sleek and chic to fun and playful, here are four different schemes for the outdoor dining situation of your dreams!

Words From The Wise

Pushing Against The Status Quo As A Creative Professional, With Designer Timothy Moore

Sibling Architecture director and co-founder Timothy Moore shares refreshing advice about embarking on a career in architecture and design -...
Haroula Karapanagiotidis

Homes

Designer Anna Spiro’s Heavenly Island Home

The celebrated interior designer shares her relaxed yet luxurious Minjerribah/North Stradbroke holiday house.

Studio Visit

The Graduate Designer Pushing The Limits Of Traditional Furniture Design

Brigitte Owers-Buccianti is the designer behind Real Non-Real, an exciting new practice making multi-functional furniture pieces.

Stays

Stay Off-Grid In A Tiny House, Or Restored 1890s Hut, On The One NSW Property!

Escape to one of two tiny houses or a restored 1890 hut at Wildernest, located on the edge of the NSW Southern Highlands.

Creative People

Creating Original, Ever-Changing Gardens With Kep Horticulture’s Andy Kepitis

Kep Horticulture founder Andy Kepitis talks how to create dynamic gardens, and his aversion to 'certain' plant palettes!

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life With Trailblazing Curator, Shonae Hobson

Inside the day of Kaantju woman and curator of Indigenous art at the NGV, Shonae Hobson!
Sasha Gattermayr
  17 hours ago

News

Melbourne's Futuristic New Gallery For Art + Science

Excitement is high – the latest museum in the international Science Gallery Network opens in Melbourne today!
Sponsored

News

WIN A One-Of-A-Kind Artwork By Local Artist Dave Kulesza - aka Boris Bombay!

Bombay Sapphire are giving away a nostalgia-fuelled, pop art-esque tiled artwork by Boris Bombay (aka Dave Kulesza) to one lucky winner!
Sponsored

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Revitalised Barwon Heads Boat Shack

Irons McDuff Architecture old and new in this light-filled holiday home.

Architecture

A Concrete House In A Coastal Setting

Exploring Australian beachside Brutalism with AuHaus.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

This House Is A Love Letter To Fitzroy

This impressive renovation in Fitzroy by Austin Maynard Architects wowed the judges at last week's Victorian Architecture Awards.

The Design Files acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.