steffen welsch architects' 'beach slice' is an australian holiday home sliced in two

steffen welsch architects' 'beach slice' is an australian holiday home sliced in two

a quiet architecture for a casual retreat

 

just an hour’s drive from melbourne, and a five-minute walk to the beach, steffen welsch architects’ ‘beach slice’ is a holiday home hidden among the bush. the design team has realized the project as a casual space where its occupants might escape their daily routines with ‘stars instead of lights,’ and ‘leisure instead of work.’ the architects resist the common temptation to create a house that is overly luxurious or sophisticated, instead creating a ‘quiet architecture’ which might at first go unnoticed among the natural surroundings, revealing itself gradually.

 

the team at steffen welsch architects manifests the concept of ‘architecture as background’ coined by viennese architect hermann czech, who once said: ‘architecture shall not impose on you. the user must not notice it, it should appear to have always been like this.’

steffen welsch beach sliceimages © tatjana plitt | @tatjanaplitt

 

 

‘beach slice,’ a house sliced in two

 

steffen welsch architects (see more here) designs its beach slice with enough room for three parties to holiday all together. the program is divided between two halves, including a communal wing and private bedroom wing. this division is expressed through the form of the house, which sees the intersection of two angled volumes, triangles in plan. the exterior walls are build of laminated veneer lumber (LVL) whose thickness allows for integrated storage space and window seats. these bold frames further serve to curate views of the natural surroundings.

steffen welsch beach slice

 

 

the sustainable design by steffen welsch

 

with its green credentials and track record, the team led by steffen welsch designs its beach slice together with the clients, who have been active environmentalists for decades. therefore, beach slice is designed to minimize the embodied energy used in its construction as well as the operational energy used during its lifetime. it was also designed to maintain biodiversity on site.

 

the design of this house applies principles of passive solar design, solar control, zoning and compartmentalization, high thermal mass, insulation and cross ventilation to maximize sustainability while maintaining comfort. it is highly insulated, featuring high-performance, double-glazed doors and windows and is high in thermal mass by using a concrete slab for the floor and recycled bricks for internal walls.

 

a fundamental design decision was to develop a compact form. the external wall is constructed as a curtain wall from LVL’s and build in additional functionality. by default, this reduces materials used during construction and therefore lowers embodied energy. the triangular shape of the building and minimum circulation areas allowed the program to be achieved using a smaller than average floor area for this program, as well as reducing the resources required to operate the building.

steffen welsch beach slice steffen welsch beach slice steffen welsch beach slice

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steffen welsch architects' 'beach slice' is an australian holiday home sliced in two

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