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A ‘Magic’ Tiny Beach House In Unspoiled Walkerville

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Walkerville is a quintessentially Australian coastal village that remains magically unspoiled by development. Until now, this sleepy strip of coastline not far from Wilsons Prom has been a relatively well-kept local secret… but that could be all about to change, with the addition of the area’s newest property – a tiny, distinctive beach house called Jacky Winter Waters.

The south-west Gippsland, Victoria, accommodation is the latest offering from Jacky Winter Places: an offshoot of The Jacky Winter Group agency, founded by managing director Jeremy Wortsman.

Together with Imogen Pullar Architecture, MVH Constructions, Mcnuttndorff Landscapes, and the support of long-time local neighbours, Jeremy has created a truly one-of-a-kind tiny house getaway for guests and future artist residencies. 

True to the Jacky Winter brand, the building’s playful yet camouflaged facade depicts the work of artists April Phillips, Beci Orpin, Carla McRae, and David Booth

10th May, 2022

Magic Beach House is a new tiny house accomodation in Walkerville, a small coastal village in Victoria’s south-west Gippsland. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The accomodation is located about two and half hours from Melbourne. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

Jeremy Wortsman worked with Imogen Pullar Architecture, MVH Constructions, Mcnuttndorff Landscapes to create the one-of-a-kind tiny house getaway for guests and future artist residencies. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The resulting house’s footprint is 30 square metres, including a 14 square metre mezzanine inside, and an additional 57 square metre deck for outdoor living. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

Spaces are adaptable and overlapping in function to cleverly accommodate cooking, washing, and multiple beds. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The small footprint of Magic Beach House was driven by the project budget, the existing landscape, and the bushfire requirements of the site. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The fold-out banquette seat and daybed. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

A light grey porcelain tile is used for the flooring, splashback, and bathroom. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The mezzanine bedroom. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The property is best appreciated from the oversized raked bedroom window, which looks out over established treetops to the water. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

James Hardie Axon cladding was painted by artists April Phillips, David Booth, Carla McRae, and Beci Orpin. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

Jeremy Wortsman with his partner and Lorelei and their two children Winifred (7) and Jeronimo (5). Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

It was really important that we did things with a very light touch, especially in terms of revegetating anything that we removed, and ensuring that the property remains a healthy habitat for the amazing creatures we share the land with and respecting the Traditional Owners.’ Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The Walkerville coastline. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

The facade peeking through the trees. Photography – Marnie Hawson. Styling – Jess Kneebone. Additional styling – Shena Jamieson and Melissa Van Dartel

Lucy Feagins
Tuesday 10th May 2022

‘It’s a very special part of the world, and while I know this term gets thrown around a lot, it does feel like a very well-kept secret!’ 

Jeremy Wortsman first visited Walkerville — a small coastal village in Victoria’s south-west Gippsland located about two and half hours from Melbourne — in 2019. The managing director of The Jacky Winter Group was immediately taken with the relatively untouched landscape, and its endearing claim to fame – Walkerville beach is the real life beach that inspired the beloved children’s book ‘Magic Beach‘ by Alison Lester! Jeremy soon found himself scouring the local property listings, and it wasn’t long before he came across the opportunity to purchase a perfectly placed block of land, overlooking that very beach.

‘I tend to get attracted to projects and places that other people would write off as being too difficult or risky, so that definitely helped matters along!’ says Jeremy. ‘The block itself was completely vegetated and there wasn’t even any access by foot or car, so it was a pretty big leap of faith.’

Now named ‘Jacky Winter Waters‘, this unique beach retreat isn’t Jeremy’s first foray into creating bespoke accomodation, but it is the first property he’s built from scratch. To realise this ambitious project, he pulled in a dream team of passionate collaborators including Imogen Pullar Architecture, MVH Constructions, and Mcnuttndorff Landscapes. 

The small footprint of the house was driven by the project budget, the existing landscape, and the bushfire requirements of the site. Architects Imogen Pullar and Nayan Puri explain, ‘At the beginning we weren’t even sure that a house could be built on the site due to the bushfire attack level. With the assistance of Anthony Matthews at Nexus Planning, we established a small footprint where a building could be located that would need to be built to BAL-40 rating. Unfortunately this was the steepest part of the site…There also couldn’t be certain metals due to the house being within 100 metres of breaking surf.’  

The architects discovered James Hardie Axon cladding after extensive research, which simultaneously presented the opportunity for a painted facade by artists April Phillips, Beci Orpin, Carla McRae, and David Booth. ‘From the street level, I love how one of the characters is peeking out from the bush to say hello to those walking on the beach or street. It’s just the best feeling to see someone crack a smile when they see it,’ says Jeremy. ‘I absolutely love that it creates a bit of an unexpected moment, yet is also very complementary to the environment and blends into its surrounds.’ 

The home’s footprint is a mere 30 square metres – this includes a 14 square metre mezzanine bedroom, and an additional 57 square metre deck for outdoor living. Whilst this is a tiny, single bedroom dwelling, it punches well above its weight! All the interior spaces are design for adaptability – the furniture is multi-functional, and there’s no shortage of clever storage solutions, and pack-away beds.

The property’s only notably extravagant feature is the oversized raked bedroom window on the mezzanine, with its breathtaking view over treetops directly to the water beyond. A million dollar view – from the most humble little abode.

‘I don’t think I’ve ever been in place like Walkerville before. When you are there, it really feels like you are in another country entirely, but also totally familiar,’ says Jeremy. ‘It’s a very special part of the world, and while I know this term gets thrown around a lot, it does feel like a very well-kept secret!’ 

Jeremy was blessed to have the support of many of his neighbours to help realise this project. He recognises the property’s neighbours, David and Andrew, who referred many local trades for the project; and Steve and Margaret, for their endless enthusiasm. ‘Their entire family have been in Walkerville for generations and without their support and encouragement, I don’t think this place would exist… It means the world to us that we’ve had such kind and patient folks on both sides helping us along.’ 

Book your stay at Jacky Winter Waters via Jacky Winter Places

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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