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Tiny beach house within the trees hides expansive interior

Nestled into a cliff top site and hidden beneath the trees, this small home can comfortably accommodate a single person or a large group

Architect: Ande Bunbury ArchitectsPhotography by Peter Nevett architecture, cottage, facade, home, house, property, real estate, residential area, roof, shed, gray
Architect: Ande Bunbury ArchitectsPhotography by Peter Nevett

Architect: Ande Bunbury Architects

From the architect: 

This new beach house on a cliff top site has been designed to sit within the slope and the tree canopy. It is scarcely visible from the adjoining beach. The house has a tiny footprint and has been designed with sustainability principles in mind. 

Despite being only 120m² it can comfortably accommodate just the single occupant or sleep twelve! A double daybed area off the hallway has a wall of bookshelves and creates a cosy breakout space, extra accommodation, and a great play space for children. The building has been designed around the existing trees on site. 

There’s playful manipulation of perspective and perception throughout the home. For example the front of the house looks large upon approach, but it’s not; the central north-facing deck has a wall that is almost half height, giving a sense of containment and protection but allowing distant views; and the Living room is positively tardis-like – while looking small and intimate it functions equally well when the entire extended family clan is staying. 

Varying ceiling heights in the house create intimacy, open up views and provide space for a hidden rooftop viewing deck. And around the house a number of other outdoor rooms have been created: from an east terrace set into the hill, a north entertaining deck, a private southern deck with space for 1 or 2 and, atop the hill, a sculptured fire pit. 

The clients love the location on the site, nestled in but with access to the views of the ocean. Being a boating family they especially like being able to watch the yachts sailing past. They say that at different times of the year different parts of the house come into their own. No matter what time of the year there is always the opportunity to sit outside but still have connection to the interior and they enjoy being able to extend rooms to the outdoors. 

One of the nice features they have commented on is the level of thought that has gone into the joinery such as space for espies & food boxes below the kitchen island bench. Thought has really been given to how a holiday house is used and what is required. 

Small details such as this make a massive impact on the ease of staying in the house and make it highly functional in such a small space. No one wants to spend their holiday doing maintenance so the house has been designed to be extremely durable, especially the exterior that has to cope with the harsh coastal environment. 

Finishes have been selected for extreme longevity such as the zinc wall cladding with a 60 year+ lifespan, durable Australian hardwood timber and the composite timber decking is rot-free. All that is required is to sit back and relax and enjoy the break.


Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Peter Nevett

09 May, 2017