Peninsula House by Watson Architecture + Design

Located near Victoria’s wild and rugged coastline in Portsea, Victoria, Australia, Peninsula House is constructed of up to 75% recycled timber. The house was designed in 2012 by Watson Architecture + Design.

According to the architects,

Located just several hundred meters from Victoria’s wild and rugged coastline, the client’s brief for this project emphasised the desire for an informal seaside retreat – as comfortable to use by one person as it would be by ten. Distinct private and communal areas were also of key importance, along with a desire for the communal areas to open-out to the exterior, breaking-down the threshold between inside and outside spaces. Designed as a split level, single dwelling on an approximately square (2150 m2) block of land, the peninsula house consists of a private master bedroom and ensuite plus two large bedrooms which share a central bathroom. One combined open plan living, dining and kitchen area opens out towards large north and west facing decks and nestled below the house is an under croft parking space, laundry and storage areas.The response to our client’s brief then was to explore the idea of private and communal living within one dwelling by offering these two functions their own, separate pavilions. One pavilion for private activities (sleeping / bathing ) and another pavilion for more communal activities ( socialising / preparing food and eating ). Also of interest was the extent to which the layout could be separated before the building would read as two dwellings as opposed to one. To achieve this unifying balance, the structure of the house was expressed externally – allowing for generous column free internal spaces while the integration of a single, large and well insulated roof comfortably brings together and settles the two main functioning zones. While it hadn’t previously been considered, this concept for living was thoroughly embraced by the owner. Re-cycled materials also had a key role in the design and where appropriate, the integration of structural elements prefabricated off-site. All the floors, decking and timber cladding in the building are made from recycled timber that was once the seating in a large sports stadium in Melbourne (VFL Park) while the massive laminated jarrah wall columns were salvaged and recycled from the roof beams of a 50 year old warehouse in Perth.Minimizing the required building time on-site, the entire structural frame of the beach house was prefabricated. Whilst the site was being prepared with footings and floor structure, all the timber blade columns and steel trusses were being fabricated off site and then over a period of several days the entire structure was able to be erected with the timber columns remaining in pristine condition.Architecturally, the aim has been to test the Australian beach / holiday house type and investigate a contemporary approach towards simply and elegantly re-shaping it while meeting our client’s needs and budget.

A plan of the house:



Photographs by Watson Architecture + Design
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