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Australian Beachfront House – low maintenance and sustainable

Australian architects lead by Marcus O’Reilly are behind one of the most unusual modern Australian beachfront houses here in Sorrento, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula in Australia. With its innovative mix of materials, this beach home’s facade is eclectic and relaxed, featuring a “low maintenance material palette which was not only intended to stand up to the tests of sandy boogie boards, wet towels and teenage parties but also improve with age,” according the the architects. In keeping with a longstanding local tradition, the wood clad house features local materials like stone facing and natural tea tree shutters and awnings, but is modernized with a striking timber stairway with custom galvanized steel balustrades, boasting a cool industrial edge. A spacious outdoor entertaining area features a radial polycarbonate and timber awning, and offers views of the surrounding sand dunes and eucalyptus trees. Determined by the terrain, the hillside home climbs its way up the dunes in a series of staggered volumes – a ground-level stone volume in the front, followed by a lightweight glass and steel home volume. The outdoor deck leads into the home, which are sun-soaked beachfront house interiors by all accounts. The style is minimalist and relaxed, and invites you to sit back and enjoy the views. “Sustainable issues were to the fore, primarily with passive Solar performance. The orientation, size, volume of building, insulation and the weight were modelled to assess how much extra ballast would be needed to add to the southern walls to obtain the required thermal mass. The calculations paid off and rendered Air Conditioning unnecessary despite the obvious difficulties involved in obtaining optimal thermal performance for a structure that is up on stilts and lightweight in a temperate climate. Passive ventilation and 10,000 litre rainwater tanks complete the package.” Marcus O’Reilly Architects.
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