City Beach, Western Australia
Everybody loves the WA summer – until they buy a west-facing block. Our challenge: to design a spacious contemporary home on the beach, which still enjoys its place in the sun.
This City Beach home combines an open coastal feeling with a cool retreat from the summer heat. The owners loved the beachside location but wanted to be able to enjoy the outdoor spaces of their home in privacy as well. They also wanted to address the block’s west-facing aspect, which offers beautiful views of the WA sunset but would also face the brunt of the harsh afternoon sun.
Our design pairs the breezy lightness of the beach with the cool solidity of bedrock. The house presents as a spacious modernist ‘box’ atop the simple concrete base block. Natural materials – light-framed timber cabinetry and panelling, statuario stone and travertine – give the house warmth and lend movement to the ample wall space. For the western facade we designed a solid stone face to protect the home from the worst of the sun. The openings are deep-set and sheltered by the frame of the box wall, to keep the interior cool and shaded while still allowing views of the western sky.
Beyond the solid facade, the house steps up the dunes in a series of indoor/outdoor spaces, creating a large courtyard sheltered from the coastal elements. The open-plan living/dining/kitchen flows into the alfresco and pool courtyards, to create a unified space for entertaining and shared family time. A second, outdoor living space leads up to the generous pool, which has its own outlook – and requires little fencing – thanks to its raised position.