Marcus Beach House / BARK Design Architects

Bark MarcusBeach-06
© Christopher Frederick Jones

Architects:BARK Design Architects
Location: Queensland,
Builder: Wall’s Quality Homes
Structural Engineer: Meecham Engineers
Site Area: 727 sqm
Existing House Area: 212 sqm
alterations and Aditions Area: 48 sqm
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Christopher Frederick Jones

Bark MarcusBeach-02 Bark MarcusBeach-05 Bark MarcusBeach-10 Bark MarcusBeach-15

The Marcus Beach house celebrates a natural, coastal setting providing its occupants with an inextricable relationship to the landscape and sensitive surrounding environment. The dwelling explores lightness, filtering natural breezes, layers of transparency and integrating indoor / outdoor spaces within dynamic patterns of light and shadow, being a simple frame to enable a contemporary sustainable lifestyle to unfold.

Bark MarcusBeach-01
© Christopher Frederick Jones

Whilst feeling like a ‘beach house’ sited 250 meters away from Marcus Beach, the basic ‘pavilion’ plan was sketched out in the sand during an early site visit: a simple diagram of two pavilions placed either side of a venerable 100 year old Moreton Bay Ash that takes centre stage to the scale, proportions and life of the house around it. The pavilions sit lightly on the site and are linked by a transparent bridge in an arrangement that opens all the spaces to the light, breeze and garden views of the north. The garden is protected by a perimeter wall wrapped in endemic vines providing an acoustic ‘green’ buffer to a nearby busy road.

Floor plan
Floor plan

On approach from the street, the sloping terrain naturally guides an axial timber boardwalk under a simple timber pergola structure arriving in the courtyard opposite the Moreton Bay Ash. The main pavilion to the west accommodates living spaces focused around a double height deck space overlooking the swimming pool and northern garden. The Master Bedroom suite is accessed via a polycarbonate clad stair tower that is by day a contemplative space and by night, a lantern. The Moreton Bay Ash casts shadows onto the polycarbonate further animating the edges of the courtyard and bringing the landscape inside the house. The recent additions of a study ‘pop out,’ enclosed passage link below the bridge, Laundry and Powder room further animate the edges of the courtyard space whilst responding to the needs of its new occupants.

The house is open and light and possesses simple sustainable design principles to passively defend the occupants from the elements. Windows and doors are strategically positioned to capture the prevailing breezes whilst roof overhangs are generous protecting the house from direct summer sunlight. Air conditioning has not been installed in the Marcus Beach House nor is it desired. Artificial lighting is kept to a minimum due to the generous amount and position of glazing, particularly facing north. The roof over the Master Bedroom pavilion rises to the north providing a band of high level, operable, clerestory glazing capturing daylight and allowing any warm air to escape, setting up an effective ‘stack effect’ natural cooling process.

Bark MarcusBeach-14
© Christopher Frederick Jones

The connection between the deck and living spaces is dynamic and direct. As the heart of the house, the covered double height outdoor room is actively used all year round as dappled sunlight is filtered through a timber batten screen hung below the roof structure. Indoor and outdoor realms are connected through an interlocking series of alcoves and nooks like a low edge deck seat and reading nook pop-out located off the stair landing. The courtyard and Moreton Bay Ash are a focal point in which almost all rooms within the dwelling enjoy a connection.

Cite: "Marcus Beach House / BARK Design Architects" 13 Nov 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    fits into context really well
    i think its a beautiful solution to this landscape environment
    i would love to live in that house for sure

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow… I like how everyroom is connected by the inner court.. but I wonder if this design can be implemented in tropical climate’s countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, etc??

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I don’t see why not. The location of this design is in sub tropical Queensland. Hot humid summers and mild dry winters.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Beautiful response where the building and site share an equal footing – its about the experience providing delight

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    no, this isn’t good.

    murcutt cooked the perfect sausage
    lindsay clare reheated it

    by the third time you reheat a sausage, it’s no longer a sausage.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Sits very well with it’s Place, an early 2000 project, altered, but similar essence to original beach house

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    would love to see some bldgs made by the esteemed food critics who cruz this Arch site, one day? No maybe not…
    it’s a gorgeous beach house with delicate light and footprint

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i agree with the food critics – this house reveals a lack of restraint and discipline. All this talk of light footprints and sensitivity blah blah is cliche – this mess is an insult to the purity and beauty of the natural setting, and specifically the 100 year old Moreton Bay Ash….

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Wow. There are some very scathing people here. I think it’s interesting that not one of you has provided a link to your architectural practice website. If you’re going to leave comments bagging someone out, why not put some weight behind it and provide examples to prove your point.

    For me, just by looking at the images, it is clear that the home would be an absolute pleasure to live in.

    Not everyone wants a ground-breaking architectural statement. Most people just want a nice house that connects with the beautiful Australian landscape – this delivers both.

    And, no, I am not an architect, I am a design hunter.

    Well done Bark. I hope one day you can design a home for me.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      Or design munter…

      You’re hunting mangy seagulls more like, how about widening the scope on your ol’ hunting rifle.

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Perfect example of why comments should be moderated, Arch Daily.

    Please leave your childish and offensive remarks for Facebook people.

    I think I’ll take Arch Daily off my RSS and unsubscribe if this is the level of debate.

    Thank you.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Nice. I love how Bark encourages personal attacks by calling someone an “imbercile.”

    If childish and offensive remarks are to be moderated then maybe ArchDaily should begin by not publishing the work of childish and offensive architects like Bark.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      There is nothing to say that this was actually a comment left by bark. If ArchDaily did their research before approving controversial comments, then we could be sure that the person who’s commenting is actually who they say they are.

      For instance, does this comment mean I am ArchDaily?

      Apart from this. Read my original comment. If you’re going to make negative comments, back them up with something – research, links, references.

      The web is absolutely over immature comments and posters. My original comment stands – I’d expect 99% of the population would die to live somewhere like this. Cut the pretensious intellectual architects’ club nonsense.


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