A sympathetic renovation to a much-loved family beach house.  

The clients wanted to retain the easy function and utilitarian materiality of the original house, designed by John Baird in 1977, while adding further accommodation for extended family holidays. A new two-storey addition is consistent in scale with the original house and clad in timber 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. A series of minimal interventions were made; bringing light in from the north, introducing louvered windows and hatches for airflow, and improving insulation and glazing. Other simple but functional elements were retained or repurposed including the original staircase, while a pantry became a closet and a re-positioned shed, containing various surf and ocean equipment, activates an underutilised area of the garden. Decks across both levels have varying qualities of enclosure – fully open, partially covered and roofed, allowing for a view of the ocean, or a retreat from the wind. Built to withstand the rigor of holiday life, the home now functions for three generations.

Location: Smiths Beach, Phillip Island
Photographs: Rory Gardiner
Landscaping: Coastal Native Gardens
In collaboration with: Insider / Outsider

Oscar Sainsbury Architects