Architect: Andrew Simpson Architects
Location: Cape Liptrap, Victoria, Australia
Project Team: Andrew Simpson, Owen West, Steve Hatzellis, Dennis Prior, Stephan Bekhor, Eugene An
Builder: GK and KM Trease Builders
Structural Engineer: Adams Consulting Engineers
Project Year: 2009
Photographs: Christine Francis
“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso
This project for a family coastal residence is located on a stunning isolated site in eastern Victoria on former farmland. The design is an investigation of how an idealised conception of “house” is transformed by its context and use. The site has extraordinary qualities: harsh prevailing winds of the Roaring Forties; sloping site; and sublime panoramic views from Cape Liptrap to Wilson’s Promontory. The residence required maximum flexibility as a beach home that could accommodate varying sleeping needs – anything from a single guest to burgeoning family summer holidays.
As a point of departure, the sectional character of the design adopts an idealised child-like profile of a gabled house. However this reading of the architecture is subverted by a reorientation of the plan. The house twists to accommodate framed views and take advantage of the natural fall of the site, with two wings capturing significant views of the landscape to the east and west. These arms of the building create a sheltered area to the north side which provides a protected area from the prevailing winds. Internally the wings are mediated by an ambiguous central space that operates as provisional gallery, entry, veranda, storage, dining, lounge and circulation zone. This contested area engages more directly with the landscape and environment and accommodates shifting patterns of use.
Text provided by Andrew Simpson Architects.