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

Gardens

Everything You Need To Know About Working With A Landscape Designer

We asked expert garden designers Phillip Withers, Fran Hale, Kathleen Murphy, Katy Svalbe and Richard Unsworth to demystify the process of w...

News

A New Series Of Paintings From An Old Favourite

Steven John Clark (aka denHolm) exhibits his first body of paintings, ‘Flowers For Gary’, exploring the imperfect, and its chall...

Stays

A Mountain-Top Holiday Spot That Floats Above The Clouds

Cloud Parade is a design-led accommodation in the Blue Mountains, with truly sublime views over the national park.

Architecture

A Contemporary Reinterpretation Of The Classic Australian Farmhouse

FMD Architects introduce their version of the classic Australian farmhouse in 'Coopworth', located on Tasmania's Bruny Island.

Interiors

A Designer’s Fun, Mid-Century Makeover Of Her ‘90s Townhouse!

Studio Tate associate Liz Ryde shares her self-designed, Clifton Hill family home filled with mid-century elements and colour!

On The Market

A Huge Family Warehouse Apartment In The Heart Of Richmond

At approximately 520 square metres, this out-of-this world industrial home has got to be one of the biggest warehouse conversions in Melbour...

News

A Massive Sale Of A-List Designer Furniture Is Happening Soon!

Nab furniture, lighting and homewares from big time European designers like Ligne Roset, Duvivier + more at DOMO’s mid-year sale.
Sponsored

Shopping

A Curated Collection Of Luxury Goods From Across The Pond, Here In Melbourne

Discover the best of New Zealand fashion, lifestyle, and homewares at this inspired pop-up, until May 23rd at Chadstone.

Homes

A Dreamy, Nostalgic Family Home in Melbourne's Suburbs

Sympathetic renovations featuring recycled materials have made the 1930s Malvern East family home of Josh and Anastasia Elias even better th...

Architecture

A Multigenerational Family Retreat In A Blue Mountains Valley

It looks like a Swiss Chalet, but 'Stonelea' is a uniquely Australian home in the Blue Mountains, by Matthew Woodward Architecture.
Amelia Barnes
  1 hour ago

News

The Annual Mud Seconds Sale Is On In Sydney This Weekend!

Shop almost-perfect porcelain Mud pieces with discounts starting from 40% off.

Architecture

A Gentle Brutalist Masterpiece In Brisbane

The Mt Coot-Tha House by Nielsen Jenkins embraces its steep and bushy surrounds courtesy of a minimalist and raw material palette.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Media Powerhouse And Ultimate Creative Slashie, Sophia Athas

The founder of digital marketing agency Hatrik House talks us through the ins-and-outs of running a successful business in your twenties!

Creative People

Collecting Materials And Memories On Minjerribah With Delvene Cockatoo Collins

Quandamooka woman and artist Delvene Cockatoo Collins shares a look into her art practice, and the magical place she calls home.

Interiors

A Dark + Dingy Heritage Home Revamped In Contemporary Country Style

Interior designer Georgie Shepherd of GSiD transforms breathes new life into the interiors of this newly renovated pre-Federation villa in A...

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

Stays

A Mountain-Top Holiday Spot That Floats Above The Clouds

Cloud Parade is a design-led accommodation in the Blue Mountains, with truly sublime views over the national park.

Homes

A Dreamy, Nostalgic Family Home in Melbourne's Suburbs

Sympathetic renovations featuring recycled materials have made the 1930s Malvern East family home of Josh and Anastasia Elias even better th...

News

A Massive Sale Of A-List Designer Furniture Is Happening Soon!

Nab furniture, lighting and homewares from big time European designers like Ligne Roset, Duvivier + more at DOMO’s mid-year sale.
Sponsored

News

The Annual Mud Seconds Sale Is On In Sydney This Weekend!

Shop almost-perfect porcelain Mud pieces with discounts starting from 40% off.

On The Market

A Huge Family Warehouse Apartment In The Heart Of Richmond

At approximately 520 square metres, this out-of-this world industrial home has got to be one of the biggest warehouse conversions in Melbour...

Architecture

A Contemporary Reinterpretation Of The Classic Australian Farmhouse

FMD Architects introduce their version of the classic Australian farmhouse in 'Coopworth', located on Tasmania's Bruny Island.

News

A New Series Of Paintings From An Old Favourite

Steven John Clark (aka denHolm) exhibits his first body of paintings, ‘Flowers For Gary’, exploring the imperfect, and its chall...

Architecture

A Gentle Brutalist Masterpiece In Brisbane

The Mt Coot-Tha House by Nielsen Jenkins embraces its steep and bushy surrounds courtesy of a minimalist and raw material palette.

Architecture

A Multigenerational Family Retreat In A Blue Mountains Valley

It looks like a Swiss Chalet, but 'Stonelea' is a uniquely Australian home in the Blue Mountains, by Matthew Woodward Architecture.
Amelia Barnes
  1 hour ago

Creative People

Collecting Materials And Memories On Minjerribah With Delvene Cockatoo Collins

Quandamooka woman and artist Delvene Cockatoo Collins shares a look into her art practice, and the magical place she calls home.

A Day In The Life

A Day In The Life Of Media Powerhouse And Ultimate Creative Slashie, Sophia Athas

The founder of digital marketing agency Hatrik House talks us through the ins-and-outs of running a successful business in your twenties!

Interiors

A Dark + Dingy Heritage Home Revamped In Contemporary Country Style

Interior designer Georgie Shepherd of GSiD transforms breathes new life into the interiors of this newly renovated pre-Federation villa in A...

Interiors

A Designer’s Fun, Mid-Century Makeover Of Her ‘90s Townhouse!

Studio Tate associate Liz Ryde shares her self-designed, Clifton Hill family home filled with mid-century elements and colour!

Shopping

A Curated Collection Of Luxury Goods From Across The Pond, Here In Melbourne

Discover the best of New Zealand fashion, lifestyle, and homewares at this inspired pop-up, until May 23rd at Chadstone.

Gardens

Everything You Need To Know About Working With A Landscape Designer

We asked expert garden designers Phillip Withers, Fran Hale, Kathleen Murphy, Katy Svalbe and Richard Unsworth to demystify the process of w...

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.