A Serene And Spectacular Multi-Generational Beach House

It’s hard to find words bigger than ‘spectacular’ or ‘serene’ to describe the true magic of Somers Beach House by Wellard Architects.

Built onto a steep beachfront site on the South Eastern side of Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula, the home was designed as a couple’s private retreat that could also accommodate other generations of their family over the holidays.

The steel and timber-lined build perfectly frames uninterrupted water views, while a 1950s boat shed has been transformed into a treasured extension of the main home, ‘hovering’ calmly on the dunes of Somers Beach.

Christina Karras

Designed around an expressed steel grid, and clad entirely in blackbutt timber, the home is designed to ‘silver off’, to match the surrounding landscape.

Landscape design by Fiona Brockoff complements the architects vision.

The home enjoys incredible views across to Westernport Bay.

A dilapidated 1950s boat shed on the site was transformed into a treasured extension of the main house, sitting atop the dunes facing Somers Beach.

View from the boat shed, facing Somers Beach.

A dilapidated 1950s boat shed on the site was transformed into a treasured extension of the main house, sitting atop the dunes facing Somers Beach.

The boat shed, facing Somers Beach.

Christina Karras
16th of October 2023
Landscape Designer

Somers, VIC/Bunurong Country

This sweeping beach house is undeniably striking now, but the architecture was designed to get better with time, aging into the backdrop of its coastal bush location.

Wellard Architects principal Huw Wellard says his team was given an ‘open brief’ by the owners. The couple engaged the Melbourne-based architecture and design studio to create a ‘flexible’ holiday home for themselves, with enough space for their extended family, right on the edge of Somers Beach.

‘We wanted a building that would soften into its landscape, and improve over time,’ Huw says.

This idea comes to life in the main house, with an expressed steel grid anchored into the deepest section of the site. It’s clad entirely in blackbutt timber, complete with matching decking, which has already ‘silvered off’ beautifully to match the established banksia trees that envelop the unique abode. Huw adds that the painted steel has settled to a muted grey, blending harmoniously into the landscape, designed by Fiona Brockoff.

In line with the client’s request for a multi-generational floorplan, the upper level contains the main bedroom and living zones, where the couple eventually plan to reside full-time.

A central double sided fireplace acts as both a centrepiece and room divider in the open-plan space, adding to the warm atmosphere of the blackbutt lining across the ceiling, walls, and joinery.

Everything has been shaped around the views, including the spectacular lap pool that runs the full length of the building, overlooking the treetop canopies to the sparkling water of Westernport Bay.

A covered external staircase leads downstairs to a series of bedrooms with private balconies and ensuites, in addition to a second living area for visiting family and guests, while breezeway links provide direct access to the garden and the foreshore.

Huw says they found inspiration for the home’s look and feel in their redesign of a dilapidated 1950s boat shed that was already on the property. The old shed was replaced with a new structure featuring the same blackbutt timber cladding (both inside and out) that they carried through to the main dwelling.

‘It’s a miniature version of the main house, and sits so calmly on dunes of Somers Beach,’ he adds. In addition to offering storage, it’s now a much-loved beach refuge where the family go for some respite from the summer sun.

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