This suburban beach house captures domestic West Australian life between two horizontal surfaces; a platform for occupation of the ground and a undulating roof plane that hovers above. Drawing on a sketch by the great Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the section undulates in relationship to the plan form rising in volume as dictated by the function on the plan below.
A space for living is extruded through a strict dialogue of plan and section to frame the intense variety and constant presence of the Indian Ocean and its relationship to a ‘big sky’.
The house is located in ‘Florida Beach’, a coastal playground of the 1970’s, one hour south of Perth that has been engulfed by the cities suburban sprawl. The old ‘fibro’ family shacks that once rolled through the sand dunes here are rapidly disappearing. These original undesigned holiday homes embodied the weekender experience made with robust restraint and possessed a rectilinear clarity in plan and purpose, qualities that this house seeks to emulate.
Simple, hardwearing materials are employed to deal with the harsh coastal environment but these have subtle shifts in texture and finish. While the exterior is tactile and articulated the interior is smooth and sculptured with slight variations of white paint colour and gloss levels differentiating interior elements. A continuous band of high performance glass articulates the separation of the walls from the overscaled roof. The roof plane adjusts its overhang carefully to exclude summer sun and admit low-level winter sun, stretched at its western extent to allow the occupants to engage in comfort with the setting sun.