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This unconventional beach house fuses urban living and working patterns for two artists.

Two wings joined centrally by a glasshouse and kitchen provides a dwelling in which the artists can work, retreat and also house their extensive art collection.

The architecture compromises a black rectangular timber studio and then a sinuous expressive masonry volume holding the main living and bedrooms spaces. Whilst the studio is the private work place of the artists, the house proper is more public, even civic with a central living space and gallery defined by a dramatic arch – a portal that defines a monumental entrance recalling the iconic arch of the National Gallery of Victoria and symbolizing artistic ambition. 

Whilst the house responds to the surrounding landscape, the strands of the house being planned around an externalised tea tree and the natural vegetation, this house is an internalised dwelling, focusing inward to carefully control the incoming natural light. 

Between the two inflected curving walls, the living space follows a longitudinal axis extending the views into the garden beyond. Unlike the typical beach abode, interior and exterior are rendered distinct.

The very atmospheric interior emphasises enclosure and privacy, journey and release.

  • Traditional Custodians Boon Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation
  • Location Sorrento, Victoria
  • Project Duration 2003 – 2006
  • Floor Area 400m2
  • Selected Awards
  • Residential Interior Award, IDEA Awards for (inside) Interior Review 2006

Refined in its material and spatial choreography, which is immediately apparent on arrival, it is not until you enter, however, that the full achievement of the building becomes evident. This is an outstanding home, clearly designed for the intimacy and privacy of its owners…

Jury Citation - IDEA Awards


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