St Andrews Beach House
Situated just 100 metres from the water’s edge, this modernist coastal retreat responds to the specificity of its aggressive environs with a mix of purpose and playfulness.
A seemingly simple but profoundly sculptural abstraction of vernacular materials and forms, its asymmetric marriage of cubic volumes stands in powerful and protective defiance to the elements, yet sits with unerring sympathy amidst the fragility of its native beach surrounds.
The planning of the house divides neatly into two elements. Kitchen, dining and living areas occupy the raised volume—a single unencumbered space bifurcated externally into a Corten steel clad upper section and transparent glass lower section. Bedrooms are in the lower, more defensive wing. Constructed from reclaimed pier timbers, the structure establishes a rhythmic counterpoint with its over-scaled, exposed studwork and interchange of timber and window openings.
At the junction of the two forms, louvered windows facilitate cross flow ventilation, while projecting gutter spouts disperse rainwater onto clusters of boulders; gestures of sustainability and connectivity that complement the building’s gently weathering palette, and the site’s overall genius loci.