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

This Japanese-Inspired Beach Shack Feels Like A Grown-Up Cubbyhouse!

Architecture

In contrast to the palatial, breezy renovations of some of the coastal weekenders we often feature, this beautiful beach house by Curious Practice is more like a grown-up cubby house!

Pared back to only the most essential elements, this cosy yet utilitarian home is full of surprises, such as retractable screens and sheets (!) used as room dividers in place of doors, and views of lush greenery in unexpected places.

20th April, 2020

The communal kitchen, dining and living space is the hub of the house! Photo – Katherine Lu.

Restrained decor and blond wood echoes principles of Japanese minimalism. Photo – Katherine Lu.

At times, it doesn’t even look like a beach house! Photo – Katherine Lu.

Plywood and raw finishes gives the beach house an industrial, grown-up cubby house feel. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The whole house maximises platforms and corners to  separate rooms. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The bathroom looks almost like an Aesop store, with its exposed copper piping, bench tops made from shards of finished timber and slick brushed concrete. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Atop a timber platform, a simple bedroom lies at the end of a long corridor. Photo – Katherine Lu.

No doors allowed! Sweeping curtain act as dividers instead to make the space feel open but private. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Like all good beach houses, you have to let the outside in! Photo – Katherine Lu.

Industrial-style materials wrap the exterior. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The holiday home looks like a residential masterpiece from the outside, not a beach house! Photo – Katherine Lu.

The house and garden blend into one another. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The leftover carport space has been turned into an indoor garden! Photo – Katherine Lu.

From the exterior, you can see how the communal section of the house floats above the carport! Photo – Katherine Lu.

Sasha Gattermayr
Monday 20th April 2020

The whole house is ‘open but private’ at all opportunities, using retractable screens and sheets rather than doors to divide rooms, and maximising platforms and corners for their angular properties.

Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto’s concept of the ‘primitive future’ describes the moments where, in a flash of creative certainty, we return to the most instinctual and intuitive ideas. It’s this theory that inspired architect, Warren Hasnoot, of Curious Practice when he embarked on the designs for this Newcastle beach house last year.

‘All materials we used we wanted to be raw and in their finished state,’ he explains, highlighting the blond plywood boards and compressed cement sheeting he used to transform the two-bedroom dwelling into a contemporary beach house. These materials create a warm and textured palette throughout, but also make the interior durable to all kinds of coastal wear and tear.

The bathroom looks almost like an Aesop store, with its exposed copper piping, bench tops made from shards of finished timber and slick brushed concrete. Small, perfectly fitted pennyround tiles contrast with the large, uninterrupted sheets of ply, lending a uniform detail to the washroom.

The whole house is ‘open but private’ at all opportunities, using retractable screens and sheets rather than doors to divide rooms. Views of lush greenery pop up in unexpected places throughout the house (in the carport underneath, through the slats concealing the outdoor staircase, and above the shower!) to create a crucial sense of connection with the landscape.

While taking advantage of the surrounding natural beauty, Warren and his team were also challenged by some environmental concerns – specifically, the chance of flooding in extreme weather. In response, the bedrooms were designed to sit on a raised plywood platform. As is often the way, though, this most difficult part of the build turned out to be the architect’s favourite! ‘The space under the bedrooms was almost leftover, but has become a beautiful outdoor room for the grandkids to play and connect with the garden.’

This Week

Times Like These

Times Like These... With Cherrie Miriklis-Pavlou Of Flowers Vasette

When things started to fall apart, Fitzroy's most beloved high street Florist transformed her business overnight to stay afloat. Here's how!...

News

Portraits Of Baby Wildlife Will Brighten Up Your Day (And Contribute To A Good Cause!)

Photographer Marnie Hawson launches a new project to fund native animal sanctuaries in need!

News

The Affordable Flat-Packed Desk We All Need Right Now

Norsu Interiors and i4 Design + Construction team up to create the Puzzle Desk – perfect for home office-ing, or homeschooling!
Sasha Gattermayr

Interiors

11 Excellent, Affordable Rug Brands

Finding a good-looking, reasonably-priced rug is hard. Here is a hefty list of some of our favourites – and they’re all under $2k!
Sasha Gattermayr

View Comments

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Reimagined As An Adaptable Home & Workspace

A clever renovation by Nielsen Jenkins, for an artistic couple seeking a more adaptable home and workspace, in Brisbane.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Home That Blends Seamlessly Into Its Bushy Surrounds

Built around rammed earth wall, 'Yellowgums' by Josh Crosbie Architects is thoughtfully designed around its natural environment.

Tiny Homes

A 'Minimum Dwelling' Studio Apartment That Maximises Every Inch

Minimal interventions and clever partitioning make the most of this this tiny studio apartment in Fitzroy.
Sasha Gattermayr

This Week

14 Brands Making Waves With The Wiggly Trend

From undulating limestone vases to wiggly steel coat-stands, here are 14 wavy furniture pieces and homewares we love!

Architecture

A Grecian-Inspired Update For A California Bungalow

Alcorn Middleton update a 1980s family home with arches, white-washed columns and a inspired by quintessential Santorini architecture.

Homes

A Cheerful Beachside Retreat

Virginia Morris' colourful 1980s Anglesea home, located just 100 steps from the beach!

Architecture

An Elwood Bungalow That Draws From Within

A innovative extension around a circular garden creates an inward focus to this California bungalow extension by Rob Kennon Architects.

Interiors

A Curvaceous + Calm Edwardian Home Renovation

Working within the exisiting footprint, CJH Studio transformed this Melbourne home with smart planning and minimalist interiors.

Architecture

A Mid-Century Reimagining Of A Bells Beach Home

Bones House by Lachlan Shepherd Architects is a mid-century inspired makeover of a brick veneer home facing Bells Beach.

Shopping

The New Ceramics Studio Built On Centuries Of Inherited Knowledge

The debut collection from new ceramics studio House Editions by Claudia Lau brings porcelain bowls, plates and vases in experimental glazes

Interiors

The Timeless Update Of A 1950s Portsea Beach House

Pipkorn Kilpatrick improve the flow and functionality of this 1956 home originally designed by Robin Boyd, ensuring its legacy remains in ta...

11 Brilliant Lighting Designs That Will Light Up Your Life!

From delicate frosted tubes to sculptural glass chandeliers, these are the finalists in the Lighting Design category of The Design Files + L...

News

A Lifetime Of Mim Design Projects In One Book!

‘Works’ is a tome celebrating 21 years of Miriam Fanning’s sophisticated interiors + architecture practice.
Sasha Aarons

Architecture

A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio developed a prototype for a partially prefabricated kit home for her own family beach house in Bundee...

Creative People

The Trailblazing Couple Behind Brisbane's New Indigenous Art Centre

Amanda Hayman and Troy Casey are the entrepreneurial couple behind Brisbane's most exciting new art gallery and retail space!
2.37

Interiors

YSG Studio Brings 'Afternoon Delight' To This Dreamy Kitchen Design for Laminex

We take a closer look at YSG Studio's stunning new collaboration with Laminex!
36.05

Podcast

Dinosaur Designs Co-Founder Louise Olsen On Building An Iconic Australian Brand, On TDF Talks

Lucy Feagins talks to the legendary designer and artist about building an iconic Australian design brand.

Interiors

A Dreamy Seaside Artist’s Studio On A 19th Century Farm

Watts Studio and Amiconi Architect collaborate on a new artist's studio on historic Spray Farm on the Bellarine Peninsula. It's a work of ar...

Similar Stories

Architecture

A Traditional Queenslander Reimagined As An Adaptable Home & Workspace

An adaptable home and workspace in Brisbane, by Nielsen Jenkins.
Sasha Gattermayr

Architecture

A Home That Blends Seamlessly Into Its Bushy Surrounds

'Yellowgums' by Josh Crosbie Architects is thoughtfully designed around its natural environment.

Tiny Homes

A 'Minimum Dwelling' Studio Apartment That Maximises Every Inch

Minimal interventions and clever partitioning make the most of this this tiny studio apartment in Fitzroy.
Sasha Gattermayr

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 – we would love to hear from you.

Please email us here.