Marine House

Marine Parade, Cottesloe

The beautiful next chapter in the story of a much loved, much renovated beach house.

The owners of this 1960s beach house were looking to augment the available space to display their impressive art collection, and to do some upgrades for comfort and sustainability. They also wanted to reconnect the home to its coastal surroundings, while remaining protected from the elements.

We knew one of our biggest challenges would be to honour the home’s architectural legacy, which had great significance for the owners. The house had a lot of history. It had been in the owners’ family since 1973 and had seen a number of renovations over the decades. The existing relationship between the old and new elements of the house was the perfect starting point; we could select the best of what was already there, and use it to help shape our concept. Central to this was the use of arches, referencing both classical Italian architecture and the work of architect Carlo Scarpa.

First, in the rear courtyard, we added a new vestibule and an arched gallery space connecting the home to the basement garage. We pared back the old 1990s Italianate folly, carefully selecting materials and details to maintain consistency with the existing home. We also allowed the existing arched wall at the rear of the house to breathe, removing the bifold doors and extending the inside space out into the garden. At the front of the house, a new ‘glass slipper’ porch lightly touches the existing façade. This offers protection from the harsh sun and wind without disrupting the visual continuity of the frontage and its beautiful blade columns. The integration of a balcony into the roof of the porch also allows the owners to enjoy the sea air and endless ocean views from the upper level.

Inside, we took particular care to reconcile the old and new elements of the home, especially when refinishing the wet areas. A warm and luxurious palette of bronze, copper, granite, smoked eucalyptus and walnut timbers offsets the existing and new timber and concrete finishes. We also installed a new ducted air conditioning system which, coupled with insulation and double/low-e glazing greatly improves the comfort and energy efficiency of the home. The finishing touch was a bespoke lighting scheme, incorporating a new skylight over the master ensuite and flexible track lighting for the home’s magnificent artworks.