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

News

Australian Ceramics Open Studios Is On Again This Weekend!

Clay artists around Australia are opening their doors this weekend for Australian Ceramics Open Studios 2019.
Amelia Barnes

News

All Are Welcome At North Melbourne School Of Displacement

Learn about and honour the First Nations in this accessible North Melbourne discussion series.
Amelia Barnes

Art

Balenciaga Comes To Bendigo!

Direct from the Victoria and Albert museum in London, the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ arrives at the Bendig...
Miriam McGarry

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Seasonal Flavours : Citrus

One of our FAVE foodies, Julia Busuttil-Nishimura joins TDF this month as a columnist! First up, she shares a flavour-packed roasted caulifl...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  18 hours ago

News

Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence In Conversation With The Planthunter

Georgina Reid of The Planthunter sits down with artists Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence in a new conversation series connecting ar...
Amelia Barnes
  15 hours ago

Shopping

Bright New Ceramic Artists On Show At The Old Clare Hotel

An old bottle shop is home to some of Sydney’s best emerging design until this Sunday!
Maggie Scardifield

Homes

A Prahran East Atelier Adorned With Layers Of History

Revered Melbourne interior designer Tigger Hall shares her artistic home, filled with objects from all over the globe.
Lucy Feagins
  1 hour ago

News

Buxton Contemporary Reflects On 100 Years Of Bauhaus Design

See archival footage and contemporary works inspired by the Bauhaus movement in this Melbourne exhibition.
Amelia Barnes
3:04

Shopping

Sheridan + Grandiflora, Australian Botanicals And Bedding!

Our latest video, celebrating a very special collaboration between Sheridan and Grandiflora.

Gardens

A Plant Collector's Wild And Wonderful Paradise

Lyle Filippe shares his lifelong love of rare plants and quest to make 'something iconic' via his never-ending passion project, Roraima Nurs...
Georgina Reid

Bringing Light and Space Into A Fitzroy Terrace House

Taylor Knights Architecture and Interior Design transform this inner city terrace house with a sunken living room, shifting ceiling volumes
Miriam McGarry
48:47

Podcast

TDF Talks with Architect, IADV Co-founder, and Academic Jefa Greenaway

The trailblazing architect, advocate and academic reflects on his pivotal role as the first indigenous architect to be registered in Victori...

TDF Design Awards

Celebrating Australia's Best Stylists And Art Directors

Highlighting ten outstanding styling and art direction projects, shortlisted for the TDF Design Awards!

Architecture

The Apple Crate Shack On The Apple Isle!

A $60,000 budget goes a long way in this ambitious project in Flowerpot, Tasmania.
Miriam McGarry
  15 hours ago

Modernist Australia

1970s Excellence On The Market In Eaglemont

Nestled within the Glenard Estate designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin, this four-bedroom stunner brings the WOW-factor!
Patricia Callan

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

Art

Balenciaga Comes To Bendigo!

Direct from the Victoria and Albert museum in London, the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ arrives at the Bendig...
Miriam McGarry

News

Australian Ceramics Open Studios Is On Again This Weekend!

Clay artists around Australia are opening their doors this weekend for Australian Ceramics Open Studios 2019.
Amelia Barnes

News

Buxton Contemporary Reflects On 100 Years Of Bauhaus Design

See archival footage and contemporary works inspired by the Bauhaus movement in this Melbourne exhibition.
Amelia Barnes

Architecture

The Apple Crate Shack On The Apple Isle!

A $60,000 budget goes a long way in this ambitious project in Flowerpot, Tasmania.
Miriam McGarry
  15 hours ago
48:47

Podcast

TDF Talks with Architect, IADV Co-founder, and Academic Jefa Greenaway

The trailblazing architect, advocate and academic reflects on his pivotal role as the first indigenous architect to be registered in Victori...

Homes

A Prahran East Atelier Adorned With Layers Of History

Revered Melbourne interior designer Tigger Hall shares her artistic home, filled with objects from all over the globe.
Lucy Feagins
  1 hour ago

Food

Julia Busuttil Nishimura's Seasonal Flavours : Citrus

One of our FAVE foodies, Julia Busuttil-Nishimura joins TDF this month as a columnist! First up, she shares a flavour-packed roasted caulifl...
Julia Busuttil Nishimura
  18 hours ago

Gardens

A Plant Collector's Wild And Wonderful Paradise

Lyle Filippe shares his lifelong love of rare plants and quest to make 'something iconic' via his never-ending passion project, Roraima Nurs...
Georgina Reid

TDF Design Awards

Celebrating Australia's Best Stylists And Art Directors

Highlighting ten outstanding styling and art direction projects, shortlisted for the TDF Design Awards!

News

Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence In Conversation With The Planthunter

Georgina Reid of The Planthunter sits down with artists Tamara Dean, Bill Henson + Janet Laurence in a new conversation series connecting ar...
Amelia Barnes
  15 hours ago

News

All Are Welcome At North Melbourne School Of Displacement

Learn about and honour the First Nations in this accessible North Melbourne discussion series.
Amelia Barnes

Shopping

Bright New Ceramic Artists On Show At The Old Clare Hotel

An old bottle shop is home to some of Sydney’s best emerging design until this Sunday!
Maggie Scardifield

Bringing Light and Space Into A Fitzroy Terrace House

Taylor Knights Architecture and Interior Design transform this inner city terrace house with a sunken living room, shifting ceiling volumes
Miriam McGarry

Modernist Australia

1970s Excellence On The Market In Eaglemont

Nestled within the Glenard Estate designed by Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Griffin, this four-bedroom stunner brings the WOW-factor!
Patricia Callan
3:04

Shopping

Sheridan + Grandiflora, Australian Botanicals And Bedding!

Our latest video, celebrating a very special collaboration between Sheridan and Grandiflora.

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