photographer: John Gollings
A weekend holiday house overlooking a small bay on the coast two hours east of Melbourne.
Buried into the dunes, the house is visible from the beach as a low black line – the colour of the rocks – with ragged tufts of dune grass above it. It is completely hidden from the landward side. The objective was to maintain a low profile and to have an internal focus to the house, avoiding engagement with the surrounding context.
The house is a long thin concrete box, black inside and outside, set along one edge of a large square courtyard contained by three metre high black concrete walls with dune berms ramped up to roof level on three sides. On the open ocean elevation, windows are sized and positioned within each room to act as picture frames to the views, and the proportions and locations of the windows are determined by these internal considerations. The courtyard offers protection from winds and is a north facing sun trap in winter.
The house in no-way connotes residence or domesticity. In its context it lurks like a Stealth bomber, hidden and subversive.
Design team: Denton Corker Marshall