A small 1980s beach house in South Durras, NSW, Australia and sitting on a 1085.3m2 site was expanded on by Fearns Studio to give the homeowners a contemporary reinterpretation of their original cottage that was now able to include a new studio and views to the bushland in the rear of the property. Incorporating a galvanized roofline to tie in with the original roof, Fearns Studio gave the new roof a new twist by using the peak of the pitch as a starting point of a steep decline and touching the ground near the back of the studio while slicing back upwards to the front of the home, creating a triangular half of a square in profile.
This pie shaped roofline gives the Beach House a strong geometric influence that is further enhanced by the vertical siding and boxy shape to the front of the addition.
While irregular geometry of the roofline has an organic moment from the side as it references the image of a hawk’s wing.
Under the roof wing and inside the studio, the large window glazings present views of a lush and vibrant bushland surrounding a private backyard patio. A single oversized sliding door within the glazings creates the desired indoor / outdoor lifestyle when open, but when the space is needed for guests, the door can be closed off for privacy.
A long wall of customized counter height storage flanks the far wall of the studio. Comprised of both doors and drawers with cut out hand pulls, the unit presents a modernist white on white vignette that is only foiled by the bold red area rug.
The same white on white scheme is presented in the newly updated kitchen but the cut-out hand pulls within the cabinetry have been replaced with push-pull hardware. There is no foil of red in this space; the light fixtures, chairs and table all follow the theme of white. The only change of hue is from the wood ceiling, flooring and window trim.
The social zone next to the kitchen brings in a touch of color via the blue grey sofa but other then that the white and natural wood scheme prevails. A row of 3 ceiling pendants and a fan connects the two zones while a 4th pendant hangs over the eating area. Also connecting the two zones is the new terrace that runs the length of the social zone and widens next to the dining area into an outdoor living space.
The original home with the updated kitchen is separated from the new addition by a narrow ground level walkway. A pre-existing door leads to this hidden corridor, which is protected by the overlapping rooflines. On the far side of the addition, the roofline is barely noticeable at ground level. Only the sharp angular and dark stroke of its ground level point betrays its existence.
Photography by Tom Ferguson