Cape Patterson Beach House


This beach house on the Gippsland Coast was designed as a place of retreat and escape from the city. It forms an interface between the township and the State forest. The house is the first of two on the site, which was jointly purchased with relatives and designed on the basis that the two houses would share services and outdoor space in the future.

The brief was for a small, cost effective and environmentally responsible weekend home.It consists of one large living space and three bedrooms that are flexible with bunk beds and quiet study space. It has to cater for both small and large groups of friends. The living space faces the bush and bedrooms upstairs look into the tree tops.

There is a strong typology created by a spine wall down the middle of the house, both inside and out. This spine separates public and private zones. On the southern town ship edge are placed services and non living areas. On the north side the living spaces open up transparently with lots of glazing. A s a result the building turns its back on the street and opens up to the forest.

The building has a small footprint and has a low impact on the site with minimal need to remove large trees. Environmentally responsible choices were made throughout every aspect of the project, including passive design principles, recycled or sustainably harvested timber, rainwater harvesting and generally the use of materials with a low embodied energy.

  • Location:
    Cape Patterson, Gippsland, Australia
  • Builder:
  • Photographer:
    Rory Gardiner

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