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November 5, 2021

As an architect's own house, St Andrews Beach House is imbued with a sophisticated understanding of place, material and functionality. Located in the Mornington Peninsula, the holiday home explores the ways that built form and the landscape connect through considered, patient intervention.

Originally a series of sand dunes, St Andrews Beach House is visually inspired by the primitive nature of its surrounds. As an architect's own house, the structure was built over four stages and, without competition to the site’s landscape, emerges as a robust yet delicate construction.

To protect from the intensity of the weather, the home recedes to the north with a cabana and accompanying private pool. There is a deliberate connection made between the water and the site’s neighbouring ocean – the glass within the house, linking the home’s two volumes, facilitates this connection and allows a deliberate water-to-water moment to occur.

St Andrews Beach House is an architect's own house and is created from a series of contemplative moments and emotions. Crafted over twenty years, time plays an important role in understanding the built form. Beneath the grand stairs, the under-croft area has been converted into a terrarium, evoking a rainforest ambiance and channelling a private and intimate pause within the internal space.

An architect's own house, the structure is shaped to work with the landscape. The garden was a considered aspect of the design, and it was important that the holiday home did not disturb the landscape or disrupt the movement of the sand dunes. Instead, the house feels settled. The home is controlled to align with the sensations of the site: its orientation is purposeful in its reflection of the ocean.

Internally, light is critical to bringing the space to life. The daylight provides a glow and a warmth to the interior design, whilst the evening is illuminated by concealed LED strips. The lighting the further speaks to the refined and measured architecture of the home.

As an architect's own house, St Andrews Beach House is a cumulation of materials selected for their meaning and purpose – each feature works to endure the climate and work with the surrounding landscape. Cool greys, warm rusts, silvers and golds saturate the home’s natural palette and continues the journey of connection between the internal and external site. The space around the home breathes with the landscape, searching for a reflective harmony between architecture, material, detail and the natural environment.

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Architecture by Woods Bagot.
Photography by Derek Swalwell.
Styling by Jess Kneebone.
Furniture Supplied by Space Furniture.
Filmed and Edited by Dan Preston.
Production by The Local Project.

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