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

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

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

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!...

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.

Architecture

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

News

Visit Local Artist Kate Florence's Colourful New Exhibition

See (and shop!) Kate’s abstract paintings and sculptures created in collaboration with Neighbourhood Studio in Melbourne this week.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Meet The Business Creating Fully Customisable Furniture Right Here In Melbourne

We visited Zenn Design at their brand-new Melbourne showroom to learn about their bespoke, luxury furniture offerings!
Christina Karras

Shopping

Sarah Ellison + Pantone Team Up To Create The 70s-Inspired Sofa Of Our Dreams

Meet Sarah Ellison's luxurious retro-inspired sofa, FLOAT, wrapped in its custom Pantone colour; a rich coffee brown called Piccolo!
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Contemporary New Home Grounded In An Earthy, Natural Palette

Inspired by his client's extensive art collection, interior designer Brahman Perera creates a stunning, timeless home.

Homes

An Elegant Art Deco Apartment Rental With Water Views

Jill McCormick's fashionable home for one, in Sydney's dreamy Elizabeth Bay.

News

Typo's New Homewares Range Has Everything You Need For A 'Big Night In'

The local brand known for their playful stationary and homewares has released their latest range of quirky bean bags, cushions and decor!
Sponsored

Studio Visit

The Haunting, Shadow-Inspired Paintings Of Melbourne Artist Ella Dunn

How the imaginative banter of two children on a set of swings inspired the artist's latest body of work.

News

An Unmissable Pop-Up This Saturday Bringing Together Melbourne’s Best Creatives!

The exciting 005 Abode pop-up features stalls from makers like Lucy Tolan, Ella Reweti, Fisch and more in Alt-House’s Fitzroy warehous...
Christina Karras

Interiors

A Vintage Furniture Collector’s Humble Family Home, Filled With Iconic Pieces

IT engineer Trung Tu's Melbourne home hides an enviable collection of designer furniture and art from different eras!
Christina Karras

Architecture

An Inside Look At Domain Park: Melbourne’s Revolutionary 1960s Apartment Building

Once the tallest residential building in Melbourne, Robin Boyd's Domain Park (1962) paved the way for a new era of apartment living.
2.25

Art

The NGA’s Cressida Campbell Exhibition Celebrates Her Glorious 40-Year Career

A studio visit with Cressida Campbell, ahead of her exciting survey exhibition at the National Gallery Of Australia.

Architecture

A Treehouse Companion For An Architecturally-Significant Noosa Home

An innovative 1983 Gabriel Poole house on the same site inspired this new home by Bark Architects embracing the bushy Noosa landscape.

Architecture

The New Australian Housing Company Creating Customisable Small Homes

Dimensions X aims to be the ‘Tesla of housing’, creating energy-efficient, prefabricated homes that can be assembled in just six weeks.

News

Step Inside Some Of Tasmania’s Most Unique Homes At Open House Hobart

Your chance to visit Hobart’s best homes and buildings on November 12 – 13!
Sponsored

Art

This Vibrant Exhibition Brings Together Traditional Sculpture + Contemporary Art For A Story On Legacy

Brunswick Street Gallery presents 'Aak Puul: Art From The Wik & Kugu Region'; a bold showcase of the strength of Wik Kugu culture. 

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.

Architecture

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. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net