Designed by renowned architect Peter Stutchbury, this waterfront residence is as far from the ‘suburbs’ as possible. Resembling a wide-sided beach house, this adventurous home is the result of clients wanting something more.

‘Our client is an elderly gentleman who has always lived in architect-designed homes as well as surrounding himself with architects, both as family and friends. In this case, his son-in law, also an architect, recommended Peter (Stutchbury),’ says project architect Belinda Koopman, a director of Peter Stutchbury Architecture.

The architecture team was fortunate to be given an open brief in terms of design.

‘From the early discussions, Peter was keen to know how our client lived, the routine of his day and details as to where he would enjoy having his morning coffee,’ says Koopman, who enjoys hearing feedback from locals, as well as the broader community. ‘Some see the house as tent-like, while others have drawn a comparison to the distinctive headdress worn by Sister Bertrille in the 1960s television series The Flying Nun.’

This beach house is firmly anchored on the dunes, with a large triangular concrete post in place. In contrast, the hat or ceiling of the beach house is covered with plywood, with a roof width from 3.5m to 1m.

‘We were mindful of creating protection from the sunlight, but the change in dimensions (for the eaves) sets up a rhythm that you could say makes the house ‘sing’,’ says Koopman.

The protective shell, with a copper roof, also fulfills the conditions of this unique site, exposed to the coastal breezes and salty air it carries.

the interior features blackbutt wood connections and brass details. Rather than segmenting a room from floor to ceiling walls, a blackbutt joinery in the kitchen, for example, creates a subtle division into the living area on both sides: a sitting room at one end, with an open dining and living area at the other.

Complete with three bedrooms, two on the ground floor, with the main bedroom and master bedroom on the first floor, the house can be enjoyed by the owner, or when family and friends are staying. The concrete floor allowed the sand to be dragged away by the children and grandchildren, and although arranged like a jewelry box, the house was far from valuable.

Koopman looks at the shape of the corrugated roof, which takes inspiration in part from the wrinkled ti-trees on the site and in the surrounding nature reserve.

‘If you look at these trees, the branches are slightly twisted, shaped by the wind. But at the same time, the angle opens up the vista of the headlands,’ adds Koopman.

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