Beach Retreat – Mount Martha

The brief for this project was for a new family residence that explores contemporary reinterpretations of the beach house vernacular. The house is to actively engage with the steep landscape by creating unique opportunities for dramatic coastal views.

Faced with a difficult building envelope (both in plan and elevation) and challenging site conditions, the designer worked closely with the clients to balance comfort, necessities, preservation of site and the optimisation of views.

From the deliberately modest exterior, the design can be read as a direct response to the location and the environment. Rendered masonry ground floor walls and associated retaining walls anchor the house to the steep coastal landscape and provide an elevated viewing platform for the main living areas and master bedroom above on the first floor. Upstairs is predominantly glazing and clad in Weathertex products with Ecogroove 150 Smooth and Exteriorboard Smooth cladding, celebrating the true casual nature of beach and coastal architecture.

Environmental considerations included maximising coastal and city views, protection against prevailing winds, adequate cross ventilation and optimisation to solar access to the north. The design responds to all those constraints directly without compromising the general comfort and livability of the house, ensuring that the home can easily cater for all manner of functions and occasion for a growing family.

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