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

A Secluded Beachside Sanctuary, Accessible Only By Boat!

Architecture

If you ever had to make a diorama at school, the Hart House by Casey Brown Architecture might bring on some fond memories of cardboard boxes and cellophane windows. This boat-only access home elevates the diorama form, to incredible new design heights.

We chat with architect Robert Brown about re-imagining the one-room Australian beach shack for contemporary living. A house worth rowing home to!

5th April, 2019

The Hart House by Casey Brown Architecture. Photo – Rhys Holland.

The home is wrapped corrugated iron, and opens onto views of Great Mackerel Beach. Photo – Rhys Holland.

There is no road access to this isolated ‘box’ home. Photo – Rhys Holland.

A double height living area welcomes in views and natural light. Photo – Rhys Holland.

The ethos behind this home is ‘less, but better quality.’  Photo – Rhys Holland.

Hard to complain with this view over Great Mackerel Beach. Photo – Rhys Holland.

The Hart House is lined with warm birch wood. Photo – Rhys Holland.

Timber flooring and birch wood walls glow in the natural light. Photo – Rhys Holland.

Miriam McGarry
Friday 5th April 2019

‘Less, but better quality’ – Robert Brown.

The Hart House by Casey Brown Architecture hovers above the shoreline of Great Mackerel Beach in NSW, like an open fronted (designer) box. The corrugated aluminium shell wraps around three sides, leaving a glass façade looking outwards the sun and beachfront views. The innovative design responds to the steepness and isolation of the site, in a modern take on the traditional one-room Aussie beach shack.

Architect Robert Brown explains that the single ‘main’ room of the house is comprised of a double height kitchen, dining and living space, ‘which has a utility pod within in containing the bathroom and pantry.’ A loft mezzanine floats above, and the master bedroom is located below, opening out onto a sandstone terrace (constructed from stone from the site).

The external aluminium shroud is punctuated with small openings for ventilation and light, and a window in the rear of the building thoughtfully frame the cliffs and surrounding bush land.

The philosophy of this small footprint home is ‘less, but better quality.’ This ethos is apparent in all of the material choices – the spaces are lined in birch wood, with timber flooring, and concrete benches. Robert highlights ‘the tactile quality of the materialised used resonated with the artistic bent of the owners; one of whom is a ceramicist.’ Decking, flooring and doors are constructed from spotted gum, which is both a sustainable and fire resistant material.

Due to the isolation and water-only access, the home is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. In addition to using on-site sandstone to anchor the home, the roof houses solar panels for energy, and rainwater is harvested. A modern boxed beach house, that reflects contemporary responsibilities to the environment, without compromising on aesthetics!

This Week

Architecture

A Secluded Writer’s Hut Masquerading As Part Of The Garden

A creative writer is living the Walden dream in this secluded backyard shed in Melbourne's east!
Sasha Gattermayr

Gardens

A Miraculous Floating Garden + Pool in Brisbane

A contemporary, low-maintenance interpretation of the Australian suburban dream!
Sasha Gattermayr

Art

11 Affordable, Emerging Painters To Start Collecting Now!

From abstract landscapes to detailed portraits, these are the artists to start collecting right now!
Sally Tabart
  11 hours ago

Art

A Public Art Event Puts Australia’s Female Artists In The Limelight

National Gallery of Australia overtakes 1,500 billboards across the country to display the works of female Australian artists. It's time to
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Magical Converted Church In The Hepburn Shire

A humble timber church in Lyonville adds a new chapter to its rich history.
Lucy Feagins

News

A Multimedia Group Art Show To Adore!

Local female artists unite to explore the theme of ‘adoration’.

Art

Lucas Grogan Returns Home To Regional NSW With A 'Sort-Of-Retrospective'

The prodigal son of Maitland, NSW returns to showcase his last decade of work in 'Long Story Short' at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, openin...
Sasha Gattermayr

Interiors

An Interior Designer's 'Tactile And Feminine' Canberra Home

An interior designer transforms a 1950s brick cottage into a modern and colourful townhouse!
Sasha Gattermayr

Family

Emmylou Maccarthy Takes Motherhood’s Invisible Labour And Makes It Visible - And Paid

Emmylou has built a thriving media career from the ground up with three small children in tow. Here’s how.
Ashe Davenport

News

Inside Some Of Australia's Most Significant Modernist Houses With Tim Ross

A new live performance combining film and comedy, Designing a Legacy explores the lives shaped inside the walls of these modern masterpiece...

Interiors

Ten Things Lauren Li Loved At Stockholm Design Week

TDF interiors columnist Lauren Li recaps her visit to the famous Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair earlier this month!
Lauren Li

Stays

An Off-The-Grid Eco Bush Retreat Rebuilt From The Ashes

This entirely self-sufficient bushland house in Gippsland was destroyed in the Black Saturday fires just two weeks after it was completed. N...
Sasha Gattermayr
  1 hour ago

News

Lightly Homewares Pops Up At The Old Clare Hotel

Melbourne-based homewares brand, Lightly, makes a Sydney cameo.

News

Reading Landscape Through Soundscape With SEASONS in Blak Box

An immersive sound installation that explores the Indigenous practice of  ‘deep listening’ in Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria...
Sponsored

News

The Local Tapware Brand Bringing In The Bathroom Revolution!

The cutting edge new Axia line is Phoenix Tapware’s latest slick addition to its luxury range.
Sponsored

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

Bunker Down In This NSW Coast Beach House

A home that offers seclusion and connection in equal measure, by Clayton Orszaczky architects.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

This Circular Beach House Will Put You In A Spin

360-degree views from the brilliantly unconventional St Andrews Beach House, by Austin Maynard Architects.
Miriam McGarry

Tiny Homes

A Floating Eco Villa Off Palm Beach

Is the innovative and sustainable 'Lilypad' Sydney's most amazing one-of-a-kind getaway?
Elle Murrell

This Week

Interiors

Ten Things Lauren Li Loved At Stockholm Design Week

TDF interiors columnist Lauren Li recaps her visit to the famous Stockholm Furniture and Lighting Fair earlier this month!
Lauren Li

Art

Lucas Grogan Returns Home To Regional NSW With A 'Sort-Of-Retrospective'

The prodigal son of Maitland, NSW returns to showcase his last decade of work in 'Long Story Short' at Maitland Regional Art Gallery, openin...
Sasha Gattermayr

Art

11 Affordable, Emerging Painters To Start Collecting Now!

From abstract landscapes to detailed portraits, these are the artists to start collecting right now!
Sally Tabart
  11 hours ago

News

A Multimedia Group Art Show To Adore!

Local female artists unite to explore the theme of ‘adoration’.

Architecture

A Secluded Writer’s Hut Masquerading As Part Of The Garden

A creative writer is living the Walden dream in this secluded backyard shed in Melbourne's east!
Sasha Gattermayr

Stays

An Off-The-Grid Eco Bush Retreat Rebuilt From The Ashes

This entirely self-sufficient bushland house in Gippsland was destroyed in the Black Saturday fires just two weeks after it was completed. N...
Sasha Gattermayr
  1 hour ago

News

Lightly Homewares Pops Up At The Old Clare Hotel

Melbourne-based homewares brand, Lightly, makes a Sydney cameo.

Art

A Public Art Event Puts Australia’s Female Artists In The Limelight

National Gallery of Australia overtakes 1,500 billboards across the country to display the works of female Australian artists. It's time to
Sasha Gattermayr

Interiors

An Interior Designer's 'Tactile And Feminine' Canberra Home

An interior designer transforms a 1950s brick cottage into a modern and colourful townhouse!
Sasha Gattermayr

Homes

A Magical Converted Church In The Hepburn Shire

A humble timber church in Lyonville adds a new chapter to its rich history.
Lucy Feagins

Family

Emmylou Maccarthy Takes Motherhood’s Invisible Labour And Makes It Visible - And Paid

Emmylou has built a thriving media career from the ground up with three small children in tow. Here’s how.
Ashe Davenport

News

The Local Tapware Brand Bringing In The Bathroom Revolution!

The cutting edge new Axia line is Phoenix Tapware’s latest slick addition to its luxury range.
Sponsored

Gardens

A Miraculous Floating Garden + Pool in Brisbane

A contemporary, low-maintenance interpretation of the Australian suburban dream!
Sasha Gattermayr

News

Reading Landscape Through Soundscape With SEASONS in Blak Box

An immersive sound installation that explores the Indigenous practice of  ‘deep listening’ in Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria...
Sponsored

News

Inside Some Of Australia's Most Significant Modernist Houses With Tim Ross

A new live performance combining film and comedy, Designing a Legacy explores the lives shaped inside the walls of these modern masterpiece...

Similar Stories

Architecture

Bunker Down In This NSW Coast Beach House

A home that offers seclusion and connection in equal measure, by Clayton Orszaczky architects.
Miriam McGarry

Architecture

This Circular Beach House Will Put You In A Spin

360-degree views from the St Andrews Beach House, with Austin Maynard Architects.
Miriam McGarry

Tiny Homes

A Floating Eco Villa Off Palm Beach

Is the innovative and sustainable 'Lilypad' Sydney's most amazing one-of-a-kind getaway?
Elle Murrell