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A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Architecture

The Bundeena House by Tribe Studio is a prototype for an assemble-on-site kit home. Located at the beachside town of Bundeena in NSW, this project  is a response to distinct challenge identified by Architect Hannah Tribe – the need for more good, thoughtful architect-designed homes, without hefty construction costs.

Hannah designed this partially pre-fabricated beach shack with a focus on good orientation, maximum natural light, and lower heating and cooling bills. It has the ‘vibe’ of an architecturally-designed house, without all the bespoke finishes, and bells and whistles that can often blow out the budget.

This prototype serves as Hannah’s own family beach house, which has allowed her full freedom to experiment and innovate!

22nd September, 2021

The Bundeena house comprises two pavilions wrapping a courtyard. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The rear pavilion contains the living, dining and kitchen spaces separated by a large fireplace in the centre of the room. Kitchen under bench joinery painted with Dulux Karori Sanctuary. Kitchen overhead joinery painted Dulux Bottle Green. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Garden landscaped by Christopher Owen of Fieldwork flanks either side of this wing of the building. Interior Walls painted Dulux Linseed. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The raw and unfinished material palette works to achieve Hannah’s vision for a relaxed, simple and somewhat nostalgic space. Photo – Katherine Lu.

A simple timber frame is perched atop a concrete slab, flanked by sliding glass doors that provide important connection to the native garden. Photo – Katherine Lu.

‘The joinery is painted in a series of colours that are experiments with alternative neutrals,’ says Hannah. ‘We have used an undercoat/band-aidy pink in the bedrooms, a dirty green on the rangehood and an almost black but weirdly bright blue in the kitchen joinery.’ Photo – Katherine Lu.

There are no windows on the street-facing facade as all rooms face towards the internal garden and gain natural light from the connection to the outdoors. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Sasha Gattermayr
Wednesday 22nd September 2021

‘This is a busy beach house, full of kids and dogs and salt and sand. It is designed to be hose-out simple!’ – Hannah Tribe

Bundeena is a small coastal town on the fringes of southern Sydney. Its architecture consists of classic weatherboard cottages separated by chain-linked fences – a local style architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio was keen to draw on when designing her own family beach house in the area.

‘There are lots of historic vernacular precedents for this kind of house, and Bundeena has a charming fisher-cottage feeling,’ she said. ‘We wanted to create something that used the familiar materials, and was modest in the streetscape to support the character of the place.’

The low-lying weekender comprises two pavilions separated by a courtyard garden. A simple timber frame is perched atop a concrete slab, flanked by sliding glass doors that provide important connection to the native garden designed by landscape architect Christopher Owen.

Sleeping spaces wrap the courtyard near the front of the property, while living spaces face the rear.

‘This is a busy beach house, full of kids and dogs and salt and sand. It is designed to be hose-out simple!’ says Hannah of the raw and unfinished material expression. The palette works to achieve her vision of a relaxed, simple and somewhat nostalgic space.

‘I am really interested in colour and had a good time experimenting with how applied colour would work with the inherent colour of the blackbutt doors and the concrete slab,’ Hannah explains.

‘The joinery is painted in a series of colours that are experiments with alternative neutrals. We have used an undercoat/band-aidy pink in the bedrooms, a dirty green on the rangehood and an almost black but weirdly bright blue in the kitchen joinery.’

The rest of the interior is painted Dulux Linseed, an orange-based grey that feels ‘like a hug’.

Though the Bundeena House has been an all-round success, widespread availability is still a little while off.

‘This was the first prototype. We are still in development, refining minimising waste and balancing out providing local jobs with partial prefabrication off site,’ explains Hannah.

Pretty good for a trial run!

See more projects from Tribe Studio here. If you’d like to register interest in a kit-home from Tribe Studio, get in touch with them directly here.

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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