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A Timber Beach House Inspired By Its Humble Predecessor

Sustainable Homes

The existing beach shack on this Flinders, Victoria site had fallen into disrepair over time, but the structure with its low-pitched roof, exposed rafters, and floor-to-ceiling windows had a charming presence worth preserving.

Rather than demolish entirely and start over, the owner-builders Ben and Pip David worked with Agius Scorpo Architects to retain as much of the existing home as possible and extend on its timber craftsmanship.

The humble scale of the predecessor is reflected in the modestly-scaled facade, concealing a generous and airy family home within.

29th August, 2022

Agius Scorpo Architects worked with owner-builders Ben and Pip David (owners of BD Furniture & Cabinetmaking and The House Whisperer Co respectively) to transform their Flinders, Victoria home. Cheminees Philippe fireplace. Dulux Stowe White and Lexicon paint. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

The owners were keen to preserve intent and timber craftsmanship of the rundown original structure on site, while creating a more generous, light and open family home. Cheminees Philippe fireplace. Dulux Stowe White and Lexicon paint. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

70 square metres of the original home was retained at the front maintain its modest facade, followed by a generous open-plan living domain extending to outdoor decks on the north and south sides. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

Instead of traditional doors, spaces are subtly defined by a double-sided Cheminees Philippe fireplace, joinery, and changes in the floor plan direction. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

The timber structure of the new living space references the exposed timber ceiling of the  existing dwelling, albeit with a new scale and level of craft. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

The new main bedroom at the rear of the home looks out to a west-facing deck with an outdoor shower. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip DavidThe existing dwelling was converted into cosy and generous bedrooms with generous storage to a large hallway that living will flow out onto during the active summer months.

The existing dwelling was converted into cosy and generous bedrooms opening to large hallway. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

The external palette was inspired by surrounding eucalyptus trees that tower over the front of the block. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

The view from the laundry, which marks the discreet entrance to the bathroom. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

Agius Scorpo Architects have created a sympathetic home that conceals a generous and luxurious interior within. Photography – Tom Ross. Styling – Pip David

Amelia Barnes
Monday 29th August 2022

The owners of this beach shack in Flinders, Victoria were keen to preserve the intent and timber craftsmanship of the rundown original structure, while creating a more generous, light and open family home.

‘The simple resolution and structural expression of these elements are in part what inspired the structural expression of the additions,’ says director of Agius Scorpo Architects Nic Agius, who worked with owner-builders Ben and Pip David (owners of BD Furniture & Cabinetmaking and The House Whisperer Co respectively) to transform the home. 

‘Ben’s skill and craftsmanship was something we wanted to explore, and this inspired us to draw on the characteristics of the existing structure and extend them into something grand and luxurious.’ 

70 square metres at the front the home was retained to maintain its modest, low-pitched facade, followed by a generous open-plan living domain extending to outdoor decks on the north and south sides. Instead of traditional doors, spaces are subtly defined by a double-sided Cheminees Philippe fireplace, joinery, and changes in the floor plan direction.

A separate laundry at the home’s centre marks the discreet entrance to the bathroom, before the main bedroom at the rear with an en suite. 

The timber structure of the new living space references the exposed timber ceiling of the  existing dwelling, albeit with a new scale and level of craft. Nic explains, ‘We chose to employ an oversized grid structure out of reclaimed timber so this would be robust and textural and rooms would be arranged between them. On top of this was a large raked cathedral ceiling with rafters set at 45 degrees to contrast with the grid system and create a layered ceiling space.’

Smooth and bright interior materials including marble, stainless steel and white walls provide balance to that textural timber that serves as the focal point throughout. 

In matching the street-facing scale of its predecessor, the owners and Agius Scorpo Architects have created a sympathetic home that hides a generous and luxurious interior within. The home has also been brought up to modern sustainability standards, achieving a 6-star NatHERs rating.

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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