A Luxury Beach House Atop The Sand Dunes In Blairgowrie

A Luxury Beach House Atop The Sand Dunes In Blairgowrie


Sasha Gattermayr

From the outside you can see the balance between the two dominant materials: glass and concrete! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Nature enters at every possible vantage point. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Columns of glass provide a telescope from end of the house to the other. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Timber and glass balance out the density of the concrete. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A restrained contemporary palette give this sanctuary a calming and serene ambience. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Views over the tea tree-shrouded landscape allow the upper levels to float above the coastline. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Those views…. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Large-scale, extensive glazing wraps the house. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

If it wasn’t for the ocean views, you’d think this contemporary dwelling was in an inner-city suburb! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The interiors are spatious and serene. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The generous kitchen and dining space. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A butler’s pantry! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The open plan living spaces allow for optimum exposure to natural light. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Functions are concealed in nooks and crannies to ensure the interiors are seamless, and easy to pack away! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A chair beside the hearth. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

This spot would be cosy and delightful, no matter the weather! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

There are even large glass windows in the bathroom! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

When you can’t see the landscape, why not let a little bit of it inside? Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Exquisite timber cabinetry details. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A very good-looking bath. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Sunlight filters into the bedroom. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A sunny view on the north-facing deck! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The outdoor dining area. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The glass connects the inhabitants to nature, which creeps up right to the front door. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Native landscaping by Acre Studio cascades down to the pool. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

A decadent pool overlooking the ocean. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The Mornington Peninsula sprawls beyond the infinity pool. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The beach-facing side of the dwelling is just as spectacular as the view to the coastline! Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The path to the beach. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

The house peeks out over the sand dunes. Photo – Derek Swalwell.

Balancing tranquility with stone cold functionality is a careful and precarious task. But that’s the paradox of nature too, sometimes harsh and sometimes forgiving, yet somehow always sublime. The same goes for this unyielding beach house in Blairgowrie, which braves the elements with both rigour and respect.

Planned Living Architects approached the brief by first embracing the challenging position. ‘The raw and exposed location was the catalyst for the design,’ says director, Jay Earles. The site is so exposed to the elements that something sturdy and durable was needed to withstand the weathered vantage point. ‘First and foremost the vision was to create a sense of place, protection and relaxation for the inhabitants.’ It was to be a sanctuary, not a bunker.

Despite the ruggedness of the coastline and the need for protection from the weather, both the client and architects wanted to highlight the natural beauty of tea-tree shrouded landscape and sublime ocean views. Extensive, large-scale windows enable sweeping natural views in all directions, so a seamless connection to the outdoors can be knit together with clever zoning and spatial planning.

Shielding the dwelling from the elements is a palette of robust concrete, that blankets the house both inside and out, while blond timber balances its potentially overwhelming density. The prime example of this monolithic material is the 8-metre high concrete blade wall at the entry, while required complex engineering and a lot of on-site planning between the design and construction team for its installation.

The end result here is a home with a stoic, strong presence, that embraces its rugged surroundings with a surprising sense of serenity. As Jay describes, this is a home that offers ‘the simultaneous feeling of exposure provided by the southern aspect of Bass Strait, in contrast to the feeling of warmth and protection offered on the sunny northern decks overlooking the Peninsula and beyond.’

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