Nestled along Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula, this coastal home shrouded by sandy dunes and low lying tea tree shrubs has been designed by Sally Draper Architects and had us contemplating a sea-change at first sight.
The design for the house arose from the clients wish to recreate childhood memories spent by the sea. The structure of the home is simple and unpretentious with its foundations stemming from a pair of cubic and weathered gabled forms. The beach side home has been beautifully designed to sit harmoniously within the saltbush landscape with its weathered, low-lying timber exterior.
This idea of a simpler life that celebrates natural surroundings is a common feature in homes designed by Draper who undertakes a wide range of residential and urban design projects. The Mount Buffalo Sorting Shed home is another example of Draper’s respect for natural environment and was recently shortlisted for a 2014 Houses Award.
There is a celebration of the rugged Australian landscape to each of these projects that feels uniquely Australian. There is no doubt that cold, windy Victorian days look so much better and more inviting from within a Sally Draper designed beach house.
The main living area boasts two impressive and elaborate features, the first being a textured Mount Angus sandstone fireplace acting as an organic stand alone centrepiece contrasting beautifully with the clean lines throughout the rest of the homes interiors. The second is plywood floor to ceiling shelving complete with rolling ladders leading to a closed off bay window retreat area floating among the surrounding tea trees.
The upper levels of the home feature wide panoramic windows with sweeping views of the tea tree canopy, a uniquely enchanting characteristic of the Victorian coastline. The team at Sally Draper Architects were faced with the challenge of designing a home that could be used both for entertaining large groups while also allowing for spaces for quite retreat and solo activities. We love the small ‘writers garret’ pictured above.
Signature weathered cubic forms covered in silver top ash cladding appear to rise from colourless rocky land while subtle exterior symmetry add to the home’s understated appeal. The front door is accessed by a suspended timber boardwalk introducing the elevated nature of the main living areas. The upper and lower living areas are further differentiated by flooring options, the bottom level consisting of polished concrete slab while the top level is timber.
Every room in the home subtly invites you to outside to the local labyrinth-like plant life. The surrounding tea tree forrest is as much an indoor feature as it is an outdoor one.
As much as possible the connection between the outside lush vegetation is welcomed inside contrasting vibrant greens with the warm timber joinery. The dining area faces onto a sunny deck again with sweeping views. The home owners felt relaxed entertaining and spending quality time were at the crux of what the home should provide.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Trevor Mein