Set in the popular Australian tourist town of Barwon Heads, this family home balances contemporary living and traditional beachside style. Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, a firm noted for a variety of designs from residential to industrial, the house comes in an ultramodern package but is finished in a manner which connects it to its coastal surroundings. Consisting of two single-story sections separated by a tall middle volume, the actual interior spaces of the home are right-angled and fairly conventional for a current-day residence. However, its entire central portion is surrounded on the outside by a cylindrical shell made of soaring wooden slats, forming a variable-width deck and an indoor-outdoor living room. These slats are also key to making the wooden house fit in with its surroundings, reminiscent of plank cottages and seaside tourist shops. Though it’s still definitely a modern house, this dwelling keeps its design in check so as not to divorce it from its environment.
Many of the house’s rooms have a focus on the outdoors, with large windows and direct access to decks and patios. Portions of the abode eschew conventional hallways in favor of a system of stairs and open borders; others have easy egress to the yard or patio. Most of the public spaces are arranged around the building’s indoor/outdoor living room, while private ones are hidden behind the slats. Decor accents the idea of coastal modernity effortlessly, with contemporary forms, bold colors, and effective lighting techniques.
On the public side, the wood-slat covering of the residence carries on beyond the building’s walls to form a privacy fence around the entirety of its lot.
A stone wall held stable by a metal mesh frames the pedestrian walkway up to the house, whose facade is the flattest portion of its walls with flush window and door frames.
At the rear, an irregularly-shaped pool forms the border of a covered outdoor living room, wedged underneath the circular profile of the dwelling’s tallest point.
A tall and thin fireplace forms the center of this open living space, stretching up two stories to the wood-slat rooftop. The windows of various rooms look out upon this living room and the patio beyond.
A loft-style indoor living and reading room is one of those areas with a view of the semi-outdoor deck below. Its flooring is variably stained, creating an interesting pattern of light and dark woods.
Thin, elegantly lit stairways all over the house connect different rooms, contrasting a more traditional layout of hallways and a single staircase.
The kitchen, on the ground floor, leads directly to outdoor recreation and relaxation spaces on two of its sides. The room itself has colorfully contemporary fittings, with patterned cabinetry and a minimal island counter.
Almost all of the rooms along the house’s central column open directly onto the wraparound deck, and the luxurious master bathroom is no exception. Because of the way the wood slat pattern obscures your vision from outside, even the most private spaces can be filled with glass area and opened to the outdoors.
Most of the deck is covered on all sides, but the slats give way to sunlight where the circular and linear portions of the abode meet.
Jackson Clements Burrows