A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

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A Minimalist, Semi-Prefabricated Beach House

Architecture

by Sasha Gattermayr

The Bundeena house comprises two pavilions wrapping a courtyard. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The rear pavilion contains the living, dining and kitchen spaces separated by a large fireplace in the centre of the room. Kitchen under bench joinery painted with Dulux Karori Sanctuary. Kitchen overhead joinery painted Dulux Bottle Green. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Garden landscaped by Christopher Owen of Fieldwork flanks either side of this wing of the building. Interior Walls painted Dulux Linseed. Photo – Katherine Lu.

The raw and unfinished material palette works to achieve Hannah’s vision for a relaxed, simple and somewhat nostalgic space. Photo – Katherine Lu.

A simple timber frame is perched atop a concrete slab, flanked by sliding glass doors that provide important connection to the native garden. Photo – Katherine Lu.

‘The joinery is painted in a series of colours that are experiments with alternative neutrals,’ says Hannah. ‘We have used an undercoat/band-aidy pink in the bedrooms, a dirty green on the rangehood and an almost black but weirdly bright blue in the kitchen joinery.’ Photo – Katherine Lu.

There are no windows on the street-facing facade as all rooms face towards the internal garden and gain natural light from the connection to the outdoors. Photo – Katherine Lu.

Bundeena is a small coastal town on the fringes of southern Sydney. Its architecture consists of classic weatherboard cottages separated by chain-linked fences – a local style architect Hannah Tribe of Tribe Studio was keen to draw on when designing her own family beach house in the area.

‘There are lots of historic vernacular precedents for this kind of house, and Bundeena has a charming fisher-cottage feeling,’ she said. ‘We wanted to create something that used the familiar materials, and was modest in the streetscape to support the character of the place.’

The low-lying weekender comprises two pavilions separated by a courtyard garden. A simple timber frame is perched atop a concrete slab, flanked by sliding glass doors that provide important connection to the native garden designed by landscape architect Christopher Owen.

Sleeping spaces wrap the courtyard near the front of the property, while living spaces face the rear.

‘This is a busy beach house, full of kids and dogs and salt and sand. It is designed to be hose-out simple!’ says Hannah of the raw and unfinished material expression. The palette works to achieve her vision of a relaxed, simple and somewhat nostalgic space.

‘I am really interested in colour and had a good time experimenting with how applied colour would work with the inherent colour of the blackbutt doors and the concrete slab,’ Hannah explains.

‘The joinery is painted in a series of colours that are experiments with alternative neutrals. We have used an undercoat/band-aidy pink in the bedrooms, a dirty green on the rangehood and an almost black but weirdly bright blue in the kitchen joinery.’

The rest of the interior is painted Dulux Linseed, an orange-based grey that feels ‘like a hug’.

Though the Bundeena House has been an all-round success, widespread availability is still a little while off.

‘This was the first prototype. We are still in development, refining minimising waste and balancing out providing local jobs with partial prefabrication off site,’ explains Hannah.

Pretty good for a trial run!

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