The brief for this striking beach house designed by Clare Cousins Architects was to provide additional accommodation to an existing 1970’s Merchant Builder’s home in Mornington, Victoria, Australia. Located on a sloping block, the existing single storey house is sited well back on the block with limited access to ocean views. Rather than demolish or renovate the existing building the architects approach was to keep the building intact and design a new pavilion to sit adjacent to the original at the front of the site. The new pavilion includes a new master bedroom wing with living room and deck for outdoor dining that captures broad views of Port Philip Bay. Planning regulations permit only first floor structures that are located over car parking or storage areas which informed the elevated ‘stilt’ design. Timber construction is used holistically both internally and externally while an enclosed circulation stair clad in translucent polycarbonate connects the original to the new structure.
Photos: Shannon McGrath
This ultra stunning modern beach house has been designed by ZeroEnergy Design to be an environmentally sensible home in beautiful Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The clients are a professional couple, both in different medical fields with a large family including grown children and grandchildren, came to the architects with some unusual space requirements, a narrow lot on an environmentally sensitive site, and a magnificent west-facing view.
They normally reside in downtown Boston, but plan to spend their summers and weekends on the Cape. While their Boston residence accommodates some of their children, their new 6,200 square foot, seven bedroom, eight bathroom beach home will be the only place that will accommodate all seven of them, including their significant others and the grandchildren, thus dictating the need for an extensive number of bedrooms. The entire family will gather over the summer and on holidays, while the couple will use the home by themselves during weekends throughout the year.
Planning for the extreme variation in occupancy was an issue the designers dealt with from the start. The home is split into a ˜Living Bar’ and a ˜Sleeping Bar.’ The Sleeping Bar is the expansion module with numerous bedrooms & bathrooms to accommodate the entire family. The Living Bar includes the living and dining areas, as well as a secondary master bedroom – all that the couple needs when the children are away. This programmatic zoning allows the Sleeping Bar to be shut down during the majority of the year to decrease energy use.
The site has a spectacular west-facing view of the water and sunset. The area of west-facing orientation of the glazing used to capture this view certainly isn’t ideal for energy performance. The narrow lot size, combined with the client’s square footage requirements and the obvious desire to be able to take in the view from the primary living space made the un-ideal orientation of the glazing unavoidable. The rest of the building envelope certainly offsets the luxury view.
The exterior finishes will allow the home to turn a traditional Cape Cod grey and blend into the dunes. The site is vegetated with indigenous plants that prevent erosion and won’t require irrigation.
Choices were also made to promote healthy indoor air quality. Flooring was limited to slate, bamboo, and polished concrete, while omitting any carpeting that might capture dust, mites, mold, or moisture. The rapidly renewable bamboo flooring is bound with nontoxic glues. The insulation in interior walls and floor, used for sound insulation and to improve the performance of the radiant heating system, is formaldehyde-free. An air exchange and energy recovery system will provide clean fresh air throughout the year.
Silvia and Silvia of Osterville built the home with double stud framing which allows a continuous layer of foam insulation (uninterrupted by studs). The geothermal system, coupled with a radiant heating system, will supply all of the heating and cooling for the year. Aside from energy efficient appliances and water heaters, all of the spaces are well illuminated using energy efficient fixtures. The client also decided to minimize the home’s reliance of fossil fuels. Propane is used only for cooking. There is no natural gas.
The roof sports a large solar electric array to offset energy usage through the use of net metering. A battery back-up and energy management system will store electricity from the solar array to ensure the basic functions of the home through blackouts without the use of a gas-powered generator. The combination the energy efficient building envelope and systems with the solar array will allow the home to produce nearly as much energy as it uses over the course of a year!
Photos: Eric Roth
Integrated within the striking natural surroundings, Espinoza House is a single family home that derives its characteristics from the landscape around it, integrating, stone, wood and glass and opening up to the bay. Designed by Chilean architecture practice WMR the 1,506 square foot (140 square meters) home is nestled on the mountains surrounding Matanzas beach, on the Chilean central coast.
The architects sought to integrate the building within its striking surrounding landscape, deriving its characteristics from the environment in which it is inserted. The house is dug into the hill in such a way that it allows for a patio invaded by the morning light, while offering protection from the wind and a view of the sea.
Next to the patio, the architects have inserted the kitchen, dining and living spaces in a lower level, all built out of stone, sharing the materiality of the mountains. The rest of the house’s structure consists of a combination of Oregon pine wood and steel beams, and opens up with large windows that overlook the beach. Here, a living space, which is — conceived as a yoga room — is articulated with two bedrooms.
Photos: Sergio Pirrone
Tres Hermanos Cabin was designed by Chilean architecture studio WMR, a low-cost residence located on a spectacular cliff in Matanzas, off the Chilean central coast, which seeks to reflect the lifestyle of its young surfer inhabitants. In the same spirit of the architect’s project for Puccio House, WMR have worked with a striking location, and sought to make a minimal, rational intervention that wouldn’t destroy the slope.
Expertly using wood and glass, the studio designed a 3 x 6 meter two-storey volume with open, flexible spaces that intertwine the exterior and interior. With a total of 344 square feet (32 square meters) of living space, the ground floor features a living area, alongside a dining area and a kitchen. On the first floor, two sliding doors are the only elements defining the space, which contains a bathroom, bedroom and hall.
Photos: Sergio Pirrone
This sensational home is a modern weekend getaway for a modern family of four, located in Sag Harbor, New York. The owners were looking for a designer who could fuse their love of art and elegant furnishings with the practicality that would fit their lifestyle. They owned the land and wanted to build their new home from the ground up. Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors, Ltd. was a natural fit to make their vision a reality.
Upon entering the 7,000 square foot house, you are immediately drawn to the clean, contemporary space that greets your eye. A curtain wall of glass with sliding doors, along the back of the house, allows everyone to enjoy the harbor views and a calming connection to the outdoors from any vantage point, simultaneously allowing watchful parents to keep an eye on the children in the pool while relaxing indoors. Here, as in all her projects, Betty focused on the interaction between pattern and texture, industrial and organic.
Photos: Courtesy of Betty Wasserman
This stunning single family home was designed by Bates Masi Architects for an adventurous couple and their four sons, situated between the Atlantic Ocean and a freshwater pond in Sagaponack, New York. The clients desired a spacious home of 8,965 square feet that could accommodate their large family and numerous guests with a lawn, swimming pool, pool house, garage, and sports courts on a site with a limited building envelope due to coastal and wetland zoning. The large program, relatively small footprint, and daunting regulations dictated a densely packed building envelope between the ocean and the pond. Thus the design process was one of subtraction rather than addition: carving away at the solid mass of the house to reconnect site features and views and to distill the experience of the place.
Spaces run the full width of the house with floor to ceiling sliding doors on both sides. The spaces create apertures through which views, light, and air completely penetrate the house, dissolving its mass. Passersby see directly through the house to the sky and landscape beyond. With the sliding doors open and recessed into the adjacent walls, interior spaces are transformed from formal rooms to open pavilions, merging seamlessly with the site.
To accommodate the extensive program spaces are nested within one another. Operable partitions pull out from the walls of the living room, carving out a media room within the living room when privacy is desired. Conversely, with the partitions open, the media room merges with the living room for large gatherings. The thickness of the wall separating the dining room and kitchen is also cut away, utilizing its depth to accommodate a wine rack that also functions as a light fixture.
The process of carving is applied at the material and detail level as well. The 5/8” corten steel plate that clads the base of the house is waterjet cut into a delicate pattern that defies its mass. Inside, corian is employed for the ease with which it can be milled. Corian countertops are cut to form towel bars, bunk bed frames are carved to create ladders, cabinet doors are recessed to form handles, and wainscoting is subtly etched with meaningful words chosen by the clients.
Materials were chosen not only for their workability, but also for their durability in the coastal environment. Corten steel siding is zero maintenance despite being relentlessly sandblasted by the wind. Cedar siding and screens are finished using a Victorian technique in which the iron sulfate in a blend of white vinegar and iron filings reacts with the tannins in wood, creating an ebony finish that penetrates through the material and will not require refinishing. The lack of harsh stains or finishes reduces the ecological footprint of the house. Geothermal heating and cooling as well as vegetated roofs further reduce the environmental impact.
Photos: Michael Moran
Sentosa Cove House is the ultimate beachfront property, designed by WOW Architecture, the home is situated on Sentosa Island, at the southernmost part of Singapore. The house’s unique location provides it with an unobstructed view of the ocean all around and is marked by the light beacon ‘Sentosa FI.R.2S3m’ immediately in front of the house in the ocean.
Here is a project description from the architects, “Conceived as a framed portal cantilevered over an open living, dining, pool and garden area, the house structure shades the pool terrace such that it is never exposed to direct sunlight. An aluminum trellis screen wraps around the frame, screening east- and west-facing walls from the intense heat of the sun as well as ensuring privacy from neighbors.
To minimize heat gain, the south-facing facade was designed to keep the house cool with the use of low-emissions glass and also to ensure resistance to gale force winds. A reflective surface on the bedroom level adds privacy. In all instances of glass usage, special attention was paid to its performance data to ensure absence of the greenhouse effect.”
To the north, the onyx facade facing the road is designed to be a lantern at night, and as a beacon marking the home, mirroring the light beacon nearby in the ocean. The facade is constructed with a stainless steel frame curtain wall with 5 mm onyx laminated with tempered glass.
Every room in the house enjoys a direct relationship with the oceanfront proximity. The kitchen and dining room can be combined to maximize family interaction, and to allow the kitchen to remain connected to the pool and the ocean view.
Beneath the curve of the attic roof, inspired by the graceful geometry of the stingray, are a study and a sitting room, oriented south with a 180-degree ocean view. A full-length timber deck flanks the southern end of the attic, cantilevered over the swimming pool and evocative of the experience of being on the deck of a ship.
This timeless oceanfront property embraces the ambiance of an exclusive beach resort, on North Curl Curl Beach, Sydney, Australia, designed by architects Will Fung and Tina Englen. This architectural marvel leaves nothing undone in its pursuit of perfection with the alterations and additions made to the 1970′s courtyard house. Cutting-edge designer finishes fuse with spectacular in/outdoor spaces against a simply breathtaking 180 degree seascape backdrop. There are giant walls of retractable glass that captures stunning views from every possible vantage point. The split-level design features high ceilings, laser cut bluestone flooring and earthy dark timbers.
Interiors includes, a sunken living room offers a built-in lounge and gas log fire, glass framed seaside dining room, family entertainment/yoga room by the pool, deluxe kitchen with Carrara marble bar, amazing master suite with views, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and dressing room as well as en-suite bathroom. Three further double bedrooms with built-ins plus a large home office and steam room. Ultra-chic bathrooms with heated bluestone flooring and Italian marble vanity tops.
The outside grounds boast sweeping seaside decks, central sunlit court garden with automated roof and customized BBQ setting with a wet bar, outdoor showers at the front and rear, ocean side decks plus level easy care lawns with a 12 meters wet-edge, heated salt-water pool and cabana with stunning unrestricted views. The home also offers environmentally friendly features such as solar heating and a butterfly roof that was built over the entire house to re-direct and consolidate all rainwater run-off into undercroft storage tanks.
This spectacular oceanfront masterpiece is listed for sale at $5,950,000, from here.
Seacliff House is a single family dwelling located in Sydney, Australia designed by Chris Elliott Architects. The home is situated on a long and narrow sliver of land that was leftover from the original subdivision. The area enjoys spectacular views over the ocean, the adjacent park, sandstone cliffs and headland to the south, designing with the peculiarities of the site rather than struggle against them.
“The ground floor is a long transparent platform where nature is welcomed in and not excluded. It is ordered by a series of columns and defined by solid walls. Glass runs along, around and above the rigid elements, curving and weaving to provide various lookout points around the perimeter, while large sliding and pivoting transparent doors open to the outside.
A compact solid core provides stability to the structure which contains a staircase, bathroom, fridge, cupboards and pantry with minimal visual obstruction to the interior space. The sandstone foundation is carved away to showcase a grotto which combines water, rock and light. In various places the material is left to extrude into the room connecting the house to the core of the base. In the basement water occurs at various levels: a pond, a shallow reflecting pool with bridge and an outdoor bath. Strong shafts of light penetrate the zone, while the sharp colors help to create a warm atmosphere when the illumination is low.”
Visit the website of Chris Elliott Architects here.
The bedroom level is a protective cocoon, providing comfort and privacy with glimpses to the landscape through a variety of openings and layers of opaque curtains. The exterior surface is enlivened with a series of curvilinear scoops to allow light in and offer selective views out. On the roof a belvedere opens onto a small sundeck with built-in timber seating and a fireplace to provide a panoramic outlook over the ocean.
The residence optimizes environmental and sustainable design features as the roof is covered with foliage and solar PV panels. Water is also collected from the upper level and stored in a tank below the garage. The house takes advantage of the sea breezes, thermal mass and the combination of double layer curtains to keep it cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The material used to construct the flooring, stairs and joinery came from recycled spotted gum, golden sassafras and ironback planks. Brass hardware is used and is allowed to tarnish naturally throughout the dwelling.
Sketch of Grotto
Initial Concept Sketch
Photos: Richard Glover
This gorgeous beach house is located on a narrow beachfront lot in Malibu, California. The home was purchased by a Los Angeles family who was drawn to the quiet neighborhood and compelling ocean views. Needing a major overhaul, the home was remodeled by San Diego firm Safdie Rabines Architects. The renovation took four years to complete, with only two of the home’s original main walls being preserved. The remodel helped to capitalize on the incredible ocean and mountain views at either ends of the property.
The entrance to the home features a three-story glass atrium running along the east side of the residence to enable light to penetrate deep into the interior space of the narrow property. To allow for privacy and shade, an indoor trellis was incorporated into the design of the home, comprised of horizontal teak slats. Bamboo was planted just outside the window to allow for additional privacy.
The oceanfront elevation was designed as one large space with a living room and a slightly raised dining and kitchen areas in order to allow for unobstructed views of the beach. All three spaces spill out onto the outdoor deck and pool area. Accents of blue throughout the kitchen and dining areas reflect the ocean. The architects wished to blur the line between the indoors and outdoors by use of limestone flooring on the terrace, throughout the first floor, as well as the bathroom, fireplace surround and as chiseled blocks for the walls in the interior that extends out to the exterior.
This additional building in the front of the property hosts a guest suite, spa, gym and the garage.