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An All-Seasons Beach House Designed For The Whole Family

Architecture

The stunning Mornington Peninsula environment is what informs almost every design choice in the Dunes House by Whiting Architects.

Designed for year-round use, on a site with ever-changing weather conditions, Whiting were tasked with highlighting the home’s SPECTACULAR beach views, while simultaneously providing shelter from the elements. The result is an invigorated, hardworking home suitable for the rugged local climate, and a constant stream of guests!

10th October, 2019

The Dunes house by Whiting Architects and Bartlett Architectural Construction. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Designer to accommodate up to 14 guests, as well as feel cosy with just two. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

The design is informed by the local environment. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A kitchen with plenty of space for big family breakfasts. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Kitchen views out onto the windswept dunes. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Kitchen details. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Now THAT is what we call waking up to a view! Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

A reading nook. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Bunk beds to accommodate lots of sleeping kids. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

A spacious and serene bathroom. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

A porch space that links the indoors and outdoors. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Outdoor entertaining ready. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

A stunning concrete wall…that also offers much needed wind protection. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Robust materials for a coastal site. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

So many zones in this home! Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

The tree is showing signs of being windswept! Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Cosy fire ready! Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

A short stroll to the beach. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Welcome to the Dunes house. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Hello beach. Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

The swell is showing the effects of the wild weather! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

An INCREDIBLE home! Photo – Derek Swalwell. Styling – Calamity Jane Interiors.

Amelia Barnes
Thursday 10th October 2019

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!

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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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net