With a practical brief to re-invigorate an ageing fibro clad beach shack with a ‘back to basic living ethos’ of low maintenance and environmental sensitivity/sensibility. There was an emphasis on maximising natural light and cross ventilation whilst retaining all existing native vegetation, and limiting site disruption.
The design intent revolved around the retention of as much of the existing building footprint and structure as possible, recycling existing materials (entry door is recycled shack floor bearers) and limiting site excavation to avoid damaging existing tree root zones. Utilising the Murcutt concept of 'touching the earth lightly’ the majority of the new works were cantilevered from one new footing. The large spans and cantilever give a solid building a feeling of lightness, and allow views from the street to continue through the property and into the landscape beyond. The ground floor footprint of the existing shack was retained completely.
The cladding was required to be low maintenance and is was also desired that the material palette weathered over time to allow the building to blend in with the eroding landscape of the Great Ocean Road coast line. Cor-ten (rusted steel) compliments the oxidising cliff faces, and spotted gum cladding to weather grey overtime to blend in with the local vegetation.
The function of the architecture prides itself on enhancing the experience of the occupants, but putting them in control of how they want to climatise the house, or how they want to use spaces. An example of this is the western sliding wall to the first floor. This primarily solid wall operates on a sliding gate track that allow the open plan living area to be opened up to the western sun, or shut down depending on user comfort.
The project is viewed as a great success, and particular thanks goes out the trusting Clients, and Heyward Constructions for delivering this project.