St Andrews Beach House

2003 - 2006
St Andrews Beach, Victoria, Australia

St Andrew’s Beach on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula is unusual in that it is one of the few locations in Australia where construction is permitted right on the foreshore. Normally the coastline is protected as government owned land however in St Andrew’s there are buildings sited on the beach which face the Southern Ocean.

Our site is elevated and exposed to magnificent ocean views and in winter, gale force winds.
The house has a protective outer skin made from perforated oxidized steel panels which hinge open to form brise soleil shutters. The building is elevated on columns with parking and storage underneath.

The programme called for a simple three bedroom family House with a separate Guest House. The plan has three discrete elements – a communal kitchen/meals/living space, children’s rooms and parents room. Each space is accessed from outside via a promenade deck. To move from room to room one has to go outside and then inside thereby being exposed to the heat of summer and the extremes of winter. This strategy was requested by the client as a way of using the weekend house to re-humanise oneself after a week of office work. It serves to de-sanitise the controlled 22degree C built environment to which we have all grown accustomed and to remind the occupants of their own fraility.