Extravagant beach houses are a fixture of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, but few are used year-round by up to 14 family members at a time!
Originally a disjointed home characterised by ‘make-do’ renovations, Whiting Architects have re-imagined this house as a more cohesive, flexible and inviting space. While the house often hosts several families at a time during summer, the client required that the home also feel intimate during quieter periods. ‘Through the creation of ‘precincts’ within the building we were able to create a comfortable place that feels inviting for two, but also able to accommodate extended family and a horde of children,’ says Whiting Architects director, Steven Whiting.
Another important element of the design was framing the 180-degree beach views, without subjecting residents to harsh summer sunlight or bitter winter winds.‘The building is directed for the views facing Bass Strait, but the beach side is constantly windy, so we needed to create a cloistered space for outside entertaining year round,’ explains Steven.
To overcome this, Whiting designed an enclosed, outdoor dining area with an open fire on the property’s leeward side. A timber arbour-like structure was also introduced to separate the private side of the home from the ‘active’ family side.
Unlike many beach houses that are only sporadically occupied, the owners of this home were able to regularly tend to a produce garden. Developing this garden was carefully considered from the outset, including the decision to enclose the space with high concrete walls inspired by the work of British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy. Thoughtful planning was also given to the home’s entry points, ensuring sandy feet wouldn’t be traipsing through main living areas!
From 40 degree summer days with belting northerly winds, to blasting horizontal rain, this house can withstand it all. All materials have been selected for their hardworking nature, right down to the nuts and bolts that were first galvanised, finished and protected to avoid corrosion.
The project all came together thanks to Bartlett Architectural Construction, who Whiting make a point of saying were amazing to work with. We call shotgun on the master bedroom!