Engineering: Jomill Engineering
Landscape : Sea Echo
Text description provided by the architects. Ordinary architecture for an extraordinary situation. Given an exceptional site, with opposing conditions of extreme weather exposure, dramatic views and very close proximity to the busy ocean road, the house is a simple diagram of a solution to the puzzle- achieving ocean views from every room, private and protected outdoor spaces, protection form the worst of the summer sun, a very small actual footprint on the sensitive coastal site, and a simple greying timber form, that although visible from one direction, is slowly disappearing into the surrounding ti-trees. The ageing of the external materials will give the building a history with fading silvertop ash and semi rusted steel shading screens streaking black stains on walls and decks. There is no architectural agenda beyond serving the brief. The interior is all hoop pine ply featuring a spine shelving wall that runs the length of the house. Simple, basic materials and finishes were used throughout, tough enough for sandy feet and surfboards,its a house purposely designed to be subservient to its exposed coastal environment.
the house was designed as semi-permanent residence for a couple with 3 adult children, so is zoned to allow half the house to be unoccupied, as needed.
With one a writer and the other a keen surfer, the exposure of the site puts the occupants in the centre of the dramatic weather changes of the coast- a stimulating refuge, while still being a casual basic beach house.
The built form is crucially linked to the site and surrounding environment. Fairhaven is a typical west coast mainly beach house community, with a range of dwellings from older basic shacks to multi-million dollar clifftop mansions.
the simple basic forms are a nod more to the former, when beach houses were unpretentious occasional homes, rather than aping "the lifestyles of the rich and famous". Although not a humble dwelling, its materials, form and siting are consciously subservient to its dramatic location
The house is truly a built expression of the clients brief. there are no extraneous indulgences. The house has performed well in all the extremes of weather it has already experienced.
The landscaper designed a sympathetic layout, with all indigenous plants, with flowing graphic lines complimenting the rectilinear building. The elevated base of the house will eventually disappear into the undergrowth, leaving a very sheltered private living space under.