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    Picture: Derek Swalwell

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Beach pad more chic than shack

Jez Abbott
20 Mar 2019

Architects have drawn a circle in the sand as a starting point for a rustic-chic cylindrical “shack”.

The coastal building stands alone among wild bushland, rugged sand dunes and scrub, measuring less than five metres in radius.

St Andrews Beach House is a two-storey circular holiday home that avoids unnecessary mod-cons to enhance the back-to-basics natural setting of Victoria's rugged southern Mornington Peninsula.

The design follows the lineage of the Australian bush shack or knocked-together New Zealand bach and is an attempt at building a vertical hard tent rather than a holiday home.

Austin Maynard Architects took advantage of the remoteness of site and expansive views to create a modest but unique two-bedroom design with no neighbouring forms to respond to.

St Andrews Beach House is billed by the designers as a “Euclidean form” set among rolling coastal terrain. Rational, precise geometry leads to internal spaces generated by a tightly controlled plan.

These spaces adhere to the rules of form, guiding and arranging segments that divide the space, with a spiral staircase as its central core. The design provides light and air but also snug spaces.

It displays innovative use of timber, with chunky details and exposed portal frames- this is not a slick beach house, but a relaxed and informal escape, designed with materials that will weather like an old coastal wharf.

Andrew Maynard, Mark Austin, Ray Dinh led the 140m2 design on a site with an area of 8,304m2 and the building was completed two months ago. 

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