John Wardle Architects have designed the Fairhaven Residence above the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

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From the architect

This nimble beach house enjoys panoramic views over the southern ocean and surf beach.

Located on top of the ridgeline above the Great Ocean Road on the Victorian coastline, the proportions, orientation and dimensions of windows are tailored to particular views and to reveal internal spaces.

Our design process is akin to scenography, cutting together sensory and spatial experiences to frame the theatre of inhabitation within.

The spatial journey through the house from arrival to view is choreographed to increase anticipation before reaching the main living space. As you step beneath a cantilevered study into a dramatic vertical entry space, you become acutely aware of a number of twists and folds along its length that make the transformation into horizontal living space. The main window aperture matches the cinematic proportions of the ocean view.

This beach house coils and steps around a protected central courtyard, which creates an outdoor space sheltered from the harsh prevailing winds. The living area doors and an oversized sliding kitchen window open up and integrate the courtyard with the house during fine weather.

Materially the house is clad in a green-grey zinc cladding, for both its longevity and natural colouring that merges with the scrub and tea tree landscape. In contrast, the interior surfaces of the house are completely lined in timber to form an enclosure for living that its inhabitants become completely immersed within.

Your eye is then always drawn toward the dramatic outlook beyond.

Architect: John Wardle Architects
Photography: Trevor Mein