"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up" - Pablo Picasso
This project for a family coastal residence is located on a stunning site in eastern Victoria. Consequently, the design was an investigation of how an idealised conception of "house" is transformed by its context and use. The site has extraordinary qualities: harsh prevailing winds of the roaring forties; sloping site; and sublime panoramic views from cape liptrap to Wilson's Promontory. In addition, the residence required maximum flexibility as a beach home that could accommodate varying sleeping needs - anything from a single guest to burgeoning family summer holidays.
Moreover, the sectional character of the design adopts an idealised child-like profile of a gabled house as a point of departure. However this reading of the architecture is subverted by a reorientation of the plan. The house twists to accommodate framed views and take advantage of the natural fall of the site, with two wings capturing significant views of the landscape to the east and west. These arms of the building are mediated by an ambiguous space that operates as provisional gallery, entry, veranda, storage, dining, lounging and circulation zone. As a result, this contested space engages more directly with the landscape and environment and accommodates shifting patterns of use.
Client: Residential Client
Location: Cape Liptrap, Victoria, Australia
Type: Beach House
Size: 160 sq m
Status: Completed 2008
Design Team: Andrew Simpson, Owen West, Steve Hatzellis, Dennis Prior, Stephan Bekhor, Eugene An