This beach house in the township of Barwon Heads, near Melbourne, is a far cry from its previous life as a tiny, dilapidated clapboard. The retired academics wanted to spend more time at their retreat, but as their family grew they required more room to sleep up to three families during summers. The renovation essentially doubled the floor area, providing a new bedroom pavilion, linked to the main house via a wood deck. “It evokes memories of our own childhood beach holidays,” says Auhaus Achitecture architect Kate Fitzpatrick.
Houzz at a Glance
Location: Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia
Size: About 1,670 square feet (155 square meters) plus a 323-square-foot (30-square-meter) deck; 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
The original worker’s cottage was transported from the Snowy Mountains scheme, a hydroelectric and irrigation complex in southeastern Australia, many years ago.
BEFORE: Here is the cottage before the remodel and addition. Only the floor structure, chimney stack, a few walls and the two back bedrooms were retained. Note the leaning tea tree on the right; it will help orient you for the “after” photo, next.
AFTER: Here we see the leaning tree again, between the updated original cottage on the left and a deck leading to a new guest pavilion farther back.
The site levels were manipulated with mounded landscaping, bringing the ground level up to the height of the deck and drawing the front garden into the living zone. The site has a number of mature trees that influenced the layout.
The original house lacked a defined entry
; the new design embraces the arrival to the front door, with a double-height porch recessed into the building.
The new facade exaggerates the original pitched roof and opens up the interiors with cathedral ceilings to increase the sense of space in the small footprint.
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