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Fortress House / ITN Architects

  • Architects: ITN Architects
  • Location: St Andrews Beach VIC, Australia
  • Architects: ITN Architects
  • Project Team: Aidan Halloran
  • Engineer: Josh Millie Jomil Engineering
  • Builder: On the Rise Construction, Ross Stapleton
  • Area: 260.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2008
  • Photographs: Albert Comper

© Albert Comper © Albert Comper © Albert Comper © Albert Comper

From the architect. This coastal house was designed as a literal interpretation of the client’s initial brief. They requested a very private retreat, anti-social, even unfriendly to the street, as a counterpoint to their sociable city lives.

© Albert Comper
© Albert Comper

The only 2 windows to the street frontage are deep set and high, allowing no interior views, and the main 1st floor entry is reached via a 6 metre bridge. It is only once beyond this uninviting threshold, that the house gradually begins to open up to the surrounding ti tree covered dunes, with carefully selected views. This comes to a dramatic conclusion with the 6.5 metre tall window at the far end of the central spine of the house.

© Albert Comper
© Albert Comper

The form and materials of the building draw upon the 1950s to 1970s Australian weekender, with added luxury only in the generosity of the interior spaces. The no fuss raw timber exterior combined with rusted steel balustrades will streak and fade with time, slowing taking on the grey and olive of the surrounding vegetation.

© Albert Comper
© Albert Comper

The simple palette of all timber exterior, the timber and white concrete and plaster interior was selected to avoid any high gloss contemporary finishes. It is a simple robust interior designed to accommodate the old op shop furniture and relaxed messiness that is an enjoyable part of the beach house experience.

© Albert Comper
© Albert Comper

There was a conscious aim for an “ordinary” architecture, with forms, layout, details and materials as simple and obvious as possible.

© Albert Comper
© Albert Comper

Although it was a frustrating 6 years from conception to completion, it is one of the most satisfying projects I have worked on, where the both the clients and builder worked very hard to get the best result possible, with a relatively small budget.

© Albert Comper
© Albert Comper
Cite:"Fortress House / ITN Architects" 02 Nov 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/85485/fortress-house-itn-architects/>