Location: Phillip Island, Bunurong Country
With: Insider Outsider (Architecture), Coastal Native Gardens
Photographs: Rory Gardiner
‘Hollywood’ is one of a handful of houses at Smiths Beach, Phillip Island, designed by architect John Baird in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Constructed predominantly in timer, plywood, galvanised iron and glass, Baird’s houses were designed in consideration of siting, view, orientation, and with minimal site coverage to allow space for landscaping. Only two houses remain, including ‘Hollywood’ which is located on a prominent corner location.
Thoroughly tested and proven over 40 years of family use, the clients wanted to retain the easy function and utilitarian materiality of the house, while adding further accommodation for extended family holidays. A new two-storey addition is consistent in scale with the original house and clad in in rough sawn pine salvaged on site from a demolished wall and shed. The upper level now contains all the requirements for a couple or small family holiday while the ground floor rooms allow further occupation as required. Decks across both levels maximise use through varying qualities of enclosure – fully open, partially covered and roofed, allowing for a view of the ocean or a retreat from the wind.
A series of minimal interventions were made to the original building; creating new openings by stripping walls back to stud frame, bringing light in from the north, introducing louvered windows and hatches for airflow, and improving insulation and glazing. Where possible, functional elements were retained or repurposed – the original staircase was re-oriented, a pantry became a closet and a re-positioned shed, containing various surf and ocean equipment, activates an underutilised area of the garden.
Designed to capture a spirit of ease in occupation and built to withstand the rigour of holiday life, the home now functions for three generations.