The owners of this Barwon Heads property had lived on the site for many years, and spent many robust discussions planning how they would ‘inhabit the site differently’ architects Joseph Lovell and Stephanie Burton of Lovell Burton Architecture explain. The site is nestled amongst Moonah trees, a stones throw from the beach. The clients arrived at a dual proposal for the development, of a primary residence for the owners, as well as a holiday home for their three grown children and their extended families. The best of both worlds!
Architects Joseph and Stephanie highlight how ‘the site itself provided the inspiration, and determined our conceptual response to it.’ The severe coastal weather patterns necessitated a design that offered shelter, while the incredible views of the remarkable surrounding environment inspired a home that both looks out to the landscape, and nestles within it.
The architects explain how ‘the dwelling has very much been a building designed from the inside out.’ The building ‘staggers’ diagonally across the site, to offer protection from wild south-westerly winds, and offers living spaces with a northern orientation. The windows frame the landscape, offering views that no artwork could compete with! Joseph and Stephanie explain ‘it is really a dwelling of contrasts, refuge and prospect, robust on the outside and tactile and soft on the inside.’
As a dual-site that holds both a primary residence and family guest house, the challenge was in designing a space that feels cosy for two, but spacious enough for lots of visitors. The main sleeping and living area is elevated to the tree line, to capture the views of the sky and landscape in all directions – as well as creating moments of intimacy with views to the sand dunes.
The secondary holiday space is located on the ground floor, which can be closed off or opened up according to the number of grandchildren on-site! This allows the footprint of the home to be condensed during the winter months, when things are a little quieter. The two zones are linked through the outdoor living spaces and pool.
With its emphasis on simplicity, streamlined design, and strong connection to nature, the property takes reference from Scandinavian modernist architects, such as Alvar Aalto and Sigurd Lewerentz. A touch of mid century magic, in this striking contemporary coastal home.