Immaculately crafted and highly refined, Sorrento takes the design philosophy behind some of Rob Mills’ most luxurious contemporary homes and adds a relaxed air of a beachside retreat. The aim was to create a building that is grand in scale, as sophisticated as any city residence, yet still a peaceful coastal retreat.“A beach house is a place that can offer all the sophistication and convenience of modern life but is cloaked in casual dress,” says Mills.Treating architecture and interiors as one, the raw structure becomes the finish. A monochromatic palette of exposed concrete, honed basalt and hand hewn timber features inside and out, connecting the vast living area with the adjoining terrace and raised pool to create an entertaining space capable of accommodating the largest of gatherings. Pale ash ceilings and dove grey carpets upstairs maintain the simple, subdued and relaxing palette throughout.Natural defects in the exposed concrete and timber are left untouched and allowed to express their true character. By retaining these imperfections, Sorrento takes on an informal air in which guests are easily able to relax. This rawness in the materials also enables the building to blend in with its coastal environment in a way more polished structures could not.Throughout Sorrento, there is a playful contrast between the sophistication of a luxury city residence and the rawness of the artwork and finishes, between high culture and primitive sculpture. This playfulness is echoed in the kitchen, with the bench raised like a stage on its own timber platform.The result is a beach retreat that offers a truly serene experience and achieves the client’s aims: providing ample room to entertain large groups; using of concrete as a building material; and creating a canvas on which to express their personality.