A new weekend home for long-term clients with a view to future permanent residence. The house and interiors are designed to maximise its spectacular Avoca beachfront location. Careful attention paid to the creation of a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces/rooms in which to experience different aspects of beachside living.
Architect: Architecture Saville Isaacs
Location: Avoca Beach , Australia
Project size: 643 sq.m.
Site size: 1,147 sq.m.
Photography: Kata Bayer
From the architect: The core idea of people living and engaging with place is an underlying principle of our practice, given expression in the manner in which this home engages with the exterior, not in a general expansive nod to view, but in a varied and intimate manner. The house is designed to maximise the spectacular Avoca beachfront location with a variety of indoor and outdoor rooms in which to experience different aspects of beachside living.
Client brief: home to accommodate a small family yet expandable to accommodate multiple guest configurations, varying levels of privacy, scale and interaction. A home which responds to its environment both functionally and aesthetically, with a preference for raw, natural and robust materials. Maximise connection – visual and physical – to beach.
The response was a series of operable spaces relating in succession, maintaining focus/connection, to the beach. The public spaces have been designed as series of indoor/outdoor pavilions. Courtyards treated as outdoor rooms, creating ambiguity and blurring the distinction between inside and out.
A progression of pavilions and courtyards are strung off circulation spine/breezeway, from street to beach: entry/car court; grassed west courtyard (existing tree); games pavilion; sand+fire courtyard (=sheltered heart); living pavilion; operable verandah; beach. Verandah is final transition space to beach: enclosable in winter; completely open in summer.
This project seeks to demonstrates that focusing on the interrelationship with the surrounding environment, the volumetric quality and light enhanced sculpted open spaces, as well as the tactile quality of the materials, there is no need to showcase expensive finishes and create aesthetic gymnastics. The design avoids fashion and instead works with the timeless elements of materiality, space, volume and light, seeking to achieve a sense of calm, peace and tranquillity.
Focus is on the tactile quality of the materials: a consistent palette of concrete, raw recycled grey ironbark, steel and natural stone. Materials selections are raw, robust, low maintenance and recyclable. Light, natural and artificial, is used to sculpt the space and accentuate textural qualities of materials.
Passive climatic design strategies (orientation, winter solar penetration, screening/shading, thermal mass and cross ventilation) result in stable indoor temperatures, requiring minimal use of heating and cooling. Accommodation is naturally ventilated by eastern sea breezes, but sheltered from harsh afternoon winds. Both bore and rainwater are harvested for reuse.
Low VOC and non-toxic materials and finishes, hydronic floor heating and ventilation ensure a healthy indoor environment. Project was the outcome of extensive collaboration with client, specialist consultants (including coastal erosion) and the builder. The interpretation of experiencing life by the sea in all its forms has been manifested in tangible spaces and places through the design of the pavilions, courtyards and outdoor rooms.
The interior design has been an extension of the architectural intent, reinforcing architectural design principles and place-making, allowing every space to be utilised to its optimum capacity. There is no differentiation between architecture and interiors: Interior becomes exterior, joinery becomes space modulator, materials become textural art brought to life by the sun.
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