david barr + ross brewin architects: suburban beach house, coogee, western australiaimage © robert frith

all images courtesy of david barr + ross brewin architects

 

 

on the southern suburban fringe of perth, a beach house by local architects david barr and ross brewin is a critical response to the rapid transformation of the area from a culturally rich, informal coastal urbanism to a dense homogenous suburb. the dwelling is a hybrid of two typologies that reflect the respective architectural vernacular of the married couple client. the simple beach shack of west australia is met with the raised queenslander typology in the home, making the most of coastal views with its carefully lofted mass above the natural limestone outcrop and over the surrounding rooftops.  the material palette creates the tectonic ambiance of the holiday homes that were once prevalent in the area and pointedly embraces the idea of ‘smallness’ as strength.

 

 

the exterior is clad in white colorbond steel weatherboard for its low heat absorption and interiors are skinned with recycled and renewably sourced timber. the airiness of the building perched above angled galvanized steel beams belies its modest 150 square meter area and delivers a high degree of openness and spatiality. aside from enjoying far-reaching lines of sight, the home benefits from a plethora ofpassive systems, like north solar gain and significant cross-ventilation. moreover, the home is a highly considered composition of space, what with an on-grade ‘tucked-under’ room and clever use of on-site resources such as the existing limestone ridge-cum-retaining-wall. this is an architecture that reclaims the strengths of the environment and reinterprets materiality in a way that is at once sensitive to the local architectural heritage and a novel model for appropriateness in the built form. 

 

 

 

david barr + ross brewin architects in association: suburban beach house

white colorbond steel clads a raised volume replete with smartly positioned apertures image © robert frith

 

 

david barr + ross brewin architects in association: suburban beach house

interiors are sustainably considered with LED lighting and renewably sourced wood image © robert frith

 

 

david barr + ross brewin architects in association: suburban beach house

the home has the relaxed air and spatial composition of a holiday home image © robert frith

 

 

david barr + ross brewin architects in association: suburban beach house

the lofted mass provides optimal views of the landscape image © robert frith

 

 

david barr + ross brewin architects in association: suburban beach house

the home enjoys interrupted lines of sight, despite the suburban context image © robert frith

 

 

david barr + ross brewin architects in association: suburban beach house

the proximity of the coast provided both visual opportunities and possibilities for a ventilation system image © robert frith

 

 

david barr + ross brewin architects in association: suburban beach house

a carefully composed system of small spaces makes the most of the suburban site image © robert frith