Melbourne-based studio Baenziger Coles has designed the Point Lonsdale Beach House, a contemporary beach house in Point Lonsdale, a coastal township on the Bellarine Peninsula, near Queenscliff, Victoria, Australia.
Point Lonsdale Beach House by Baenziger Coles:
The building is a reflection of the owner’s passion for the outdoors and the many wonderful outdoor pursuits including; surfing, fishing, and surf life saving. A desire for a retreat whereby one could simply relax and entertain family and friends in comfortable interior spaces with an integral link to the outdoors. This was more about the connection with the ground rather than views of the water or the beach.
The design of the house is contemporary in its approach to design and crafted in its execution. The scale of the house respects adjoining neighbours. The site orientation and arrangement of the built forms respond and embrace the natural environment at every opportunity, as does the use of local and recycled materials. The design emulates a passion for quality, aesthetics, functionality and its relationship with the environment.
The design is based on the simple arrangement of three distinct elements – the first floor “container”, the ground floor area that contains the internal spatial arrangements and the lounge area.
There are many hidden treasures, finely detailed surprises, hand crafted artefacts and trinkets that have been woven into the design of the house, many only becoming evident after closer examination. Unlike the totem pole that takes pride of place marking the entry, the 10 roof top mounted solar panels are not apparent and cannot be seen, nor can the eaves gutters which have been hidden behind the angled timber clad blades on the western and eastern facades – concealing the mechanics of the rainwater harvesting system.
Internally the house promotes openness yet the clearly defined spaces can be easily closed off or zoned for privacy and when a range of activities and events are occurring. Vertical glazed panels between the perimeter glazing interconnect the partitioned spaces and offer views from one end of the house to the other. The quality of the external architecture is clearly reflected in the interior spaces.
The use of honest, local and recycled materials complements the building’s sense of place in the context of the local area. Natural materials such as spotted gum run vertically on the upper level timber façade, and split face concrete blocks form the “bookends”. Random pattern Castlemaine slate is used as the apron finish surrounding the house and as a pathway connecting to the adjacent workshop and garage. The stone for the curved external wall that embraces and defines the outdoor BBQ and meals area was recycled from the fireplace chimney and garden bed walling of the previous house.
One of the design challenges was the site – which looking at the final residence this may not be immediately apparent, but the site was basically flat and as such, relatively uninteresting in terms of being able to create a form that might respond to an undulating or sloping topography that often can give rise to something quite dynamic and interesting.
The challenge was to design a new two storey house in amongst an area dominated by single storey houses (without the new residence sticking out like a sore thumb) and to minimise the impact of bulk and any loss of solar penetration to the sites immediately adjoining the property.
The way the house is arranged suits the lifestyle and the way the owners go about their activities perfectly; from the custom board racks within the garage, to the outdoor shower, to the equipment wash down area, the “back door” entry to the internal shower with integrated timber seat and wet suit drying rail to the kitchen layout, with generous galley and food preparation area to the large internal dining area that connects seamlessly to the external barbeque and meals area. The whole design is about the wide ranging coastal activities that Point Lonsdale is so blessed with and the continual socialising with family and friends that brings the owners to the home weekend after weekend.
By acknowledging these issues and taking them into consideration, we believe the design was resolved to successfully respond to these challenges.”