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A Mid-Century Reimagining Of A Bells Beach Home

Architecture

It’s hard to believe, but when this sprawling Bells Beach property was last for sale, it sat on the market for months. Few saw the potential in the existing brick veneer home on site, but Lachlan Shepherd Architects did!

Drawing on his training at McGlashan Everist Architects in Geelong (designers of the iconic 1963 modernist house, Heide II), Lachlan and his team were engaged by the new owners to reimagine the existing building.

Utilising an earthy and textural palette, the updated property embraces its famous coastal surrounds, appearing as though it’s always been there.

17th September, 2021

Bones House is a reimagining of a brick veneer home facing Victoria’s Bells Beach. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Bones House is a reimagining of a brick veneer home facing Victoria’s Bells Beach. Photos – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Mid-century modernism was key inspiration for the entire project, as influenced by Lachlan training at McGlashan Everist where his uncle, Geoff Saunders, is a director. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Materials are earthy and textural, including recycled timbers, glass and subdued steel cladding. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

The existing slab was retained in its entirety with a new screed slab poured over (housing hydronic heating), over which engineered oak timber overlay flooring was installed. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Bagged brick neutralise the home’s original exposed brick walls. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

The building works to embrace and form part of the larger context, rather than to compete with it. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Bath views to the garden and the property’s art studio in the distance. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Also adding to the home’s cosy feel is the very liberal placement of seven fireplaces (four in the main house, and two in the outdoor area) throughout! Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Decks on either side of the home’s central living area offer generous space for indoor-outdoor entertaining. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Utilising an earthy and textural palette, the updated property embraces its famous coastal surrounds, appearing as though it’s always been there. Photo – Nic Stephens Photography. Styling – Anne Robertson

Amelia Barnes
Friday 17th September 2021

‘The brief was to have a focus on quality, but not appear to be ostentatious.’ – Lachlan Shepherd

The existing residence on this coastal property was perfectly functional, but lacked engagement with its beautiful Bells Beach context.

Working within the existing footprint, Lachlan Shepherd Architects were called on to completely reimagine the house to adopt a ‘casual, resort-style atmosphere.’ The clients envisioned neutral tones that would ‘sink’ into the property’s surrounds, along with expansive verandah areas to appreciate the view.

‘My clients are big entertainers and high on the priority list was a house that felt warm, comfortable, homely, but could also cater for a large number of people at any given time,’ says architect Lachlan Shepherd. ‘The brief was to have a focus on quality, but not appear to be ostentatious.’

In response, the practice designed decks on either side of the home’s central living area, allowing these three zones to become one when opened. 

‘We also lifted the ceiling so that a more voluminous internal space could be appreciated’ Lachlan says. 

Mid-century modernism was key inspiration for the entire project, as influenced by Lachlan’s training at McGlashan Everist where his uncle, Geoff Saunders, is a director. 

‘Geoff designed my childhood home and many of the materials found there are applied throughout this home,’ says Lachlan. 

These features include the home’s original timber ceilings and internal brick walls, which have been ‘treated with sand bagging to transform the appearance and neutralise the palette a little,’ Lachlan says. Recycled timber, glass, and subdued steel cladding complete the relatively minimal material palette.

Adding to the home’s cosy feel is the very liberal placement of seven fireplaces (four in the main house, and two in the outdoor area) throughout!

Since the home’s completion last year, neighbours have expressed regret they passed up the opportunity to buy this home when they had the chance.

Lachlan says, ‘One of them said they couldn’t possibly believe that the original house could be turned into something so special, and had they had known, they would have bought it!’

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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