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Seaview House

The beach-front property contains three individual masses connected through translucent bridges that reflect the vernacular of the past and the possibilities of the future. This house, called Seaview House by Australian practice Jackson clements burrows architects, located in ittle beachside community of Old Barwon Heads, Victoria. The clients were looking to replace their existing deteriorating beach shack with a modest beach retreat that would subsequently become their permanent dwelling.

Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-02-759x506 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

The clients had been using an old relocated weatherboard cottage on the site as a holiday home. The new house has replaced it, and will become the couple’s permanent residence when they retire from working on the farm they own forty minutes away. “The clients are very modest. They always had the ability to live more comfortably, but they never felt like they needed to,” says Jon Clements.

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© Shannon McGrath

This eco construction has three main pavilions, connected by glazed link to each other. The design was made to combine rural and coastal lifestyle, and to provide long lasting design. Each pavilion was optimized to have good connection with the views, to have a good interaction with the passersby on the street, also to provide natural ventilation and daylighting.

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© Shannon McGrath

The three pavilions of this sustainable architecture building have their own functions. The south pavilion covers open plan living space, study laundry and guest bedroom/bathroom with river views and the primary north solar orientation. The northwest pavilion covers retreat, master bedroom, Walk-in robes and ensuite. And the northeast pavilion becomes the front pavilion to provide good connection with outdoor surroundings.

Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-07-759x506 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

  • The house is broken down into smaller three pavilions that create a private.
  • The pitched roofs relate to the neighbouring homes, and the size of the house is broken down into smaller pavilions in a bid to keep the old Barwon Heads built character of shacks and cottages, which is rapidly disappearing. Similarly, the white polycarbonate cladding relates to the white-painted weatherboard cottage next door.
  • The house is a clipped and tidied version of vernacular domestic architecture, with details such as the black plate steel that surrounds the living room window placing the design some distance from a humble beach shack.
  • Bluestone on the floor of the glazed links is a reminder of the farmhouse. At night, the lantern effect of the gauze room communicates the home’s presence to the neighbourhood.
  • The spaces are compact and have a sense of intimacy, and there is minimal furniture. “It has the modesty of a two-bedroom house, and the spaces are all fairly compact with a sense of intimacy; they don’t have much furniture, they don’t need big living rooms and they socialize on a small scale,” Jon explains.
Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-09-759x506 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

Jackson Clements Burrows Architects:

This house is located in old Barwon Heads on a street which accommodates an eclectic mix of post war beach houses dominated by single storey weatherboard dwellings. Contemporary architectural houses are now weaving their way into the surrounding streets, a reflection of a shifting property market.

In this case, the clients were looking to replace their deteriorating beach shack which the family had owned for many years. The house was to fulfil a modest brief for a beach retreat and subsequently it would become their permanent dwelling. The clients have spent many years of their life in Barwon Heads and they were seeking a house which would effortlessly integrate within the existing streetscape whilst adapting to the changing character of the town.

Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-10-759x506 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

The owners are well known to Jon Clements who has spent many years visiting both their beach shack and their rural bluestone farmhouse which overlooks the Moorabool valley west of Geelong. The design of the house was carefully conceived to embrace the essence of their existing rural and coastal lifestyle and to ultimately accommodate the later stages of their lives.

The clients were not convinced that they needed a garage (they have always parked on the street) however the inclusion of a single car garage to accommodate a car or boat was up for consideration. Part of the concern in relation to the garage was the impact of its presentation to the streetscape which was an obvious concern, combined with the fact that the south side of the site (the obvious side for the garage) had exceptional views to the Barwon Estuary.

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© Shannon McGrath

In response to these constraints it was decided that a semi-basement tandem garage would provide a satisfactory solution which would partially disguised the existence of the garage in relation to the streetscape whilst providing the primary structural support for the main living wing of the dwelling and elevation for improved river views.

The planning arrangement of the house is split into three primary pavilions arrangements separated by glazed links – south, northwest and northeast, all of which embrace a north facing courtyard garden protected from prevailing breezes.

Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-05-800x1200 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

The South pavilion provides the primary open plan living space, study laundry and guest bedroom/bathroom. This pavilion is strategically located on the south side of the site to embrace river views and the primary north solar orientation.

The northwest pavilion encompasses the retreat, master bedroom, Walk-in robes and ensuite. Two primary elements are split by a breezeway to improve cross flow ventilation and to accommodate an outdoor shower often used on return from the beach.

Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-04-759x506 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

The northeast pavilion (fronting the streetscape) provides a shaded gauze room referencing aspects of traditional rural woolsheds which used timber battens for shading whilst providing extensive cross-ventilation for cooling purposes. In this case the building is entirely clad in a triple skin translucent polycarbonate cladding system with the inner skin entirely clad with timber battens. Large barn doors open to the east and west and the openings are subsequently protected by sliding gauze screens. This space provides cool shaded ventilated space in summer (doors open) and a warm passively heated space in winter (doors closed). An important aspect of this room is its direct and engaging relationship with the streetscape and the important social aspect of communicating with people passing by on foot. To further reinforce this aspect the boundary fence was placed to the north side of the pavilion to remove any sense of disconnection from the streetscape and the people who populate it – arguably an important aspect of the sub-culture in Barwon Heads.

Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-12 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

The presentation of the streetscape elevation is divided by the different materiality of both the south and northeast pavilions. The gabled forms embrace the context of the surrounding post war weatherboard houses and the white polycarbonate directly references the white weatherboards of the dwelling to the North. In this respect the presentation of the streetscape elevation provides a transition or blurring point between the neighbouring dwellings to the north and south.

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© Shannon McGrath

The collection of pavilions sit elevated on a perimeter masonry wall which provides a definitive boundary between the perimeter landscaping dominated by gravel and native grasses (the dunescape referencing the historical landscape condition) and the grass courtyard (the notional intrusion). Large circular concrete planters (stock troughs referencing their rural lifestyle) accommodate the herb and vegetable gardens within the perimeter ‘dunescape’.

ESD strategies include Active and passive shading systems, Solar Hot water Systems, Rainwater harvesting (for toilet, garden and washing machine use), high performance double glazing and under floor hydronic heating. Air-conditioning systems were not installed.

Seaview-House-By-Jackson-Clements-Burrows-Architects-15-759x506 Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

© Shannon McGrath

Project Data:

Project name: Seaview House
Location: Barwon Heads, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates: n/a

  • Type By Characteristic: Green & Sustainable House, Renovation / Expansion / Extension : House
  • Type By Site: Beach House
  • Type By Size: Medium House – (201 sqm – 450 sqm)
  • Type By Structural: Wooden House

Structural: Steel and wood frame, Concrete floors
Stories: 1
Site Area: 740 sqm
Total floor area: 310 sqm
Status: Built
Completion Year: 2012

The people:

Client / Owner / Developer: Private
Architects: Jackson Clements Burrows Architects – One Harwood Place, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Project Team: Jon Clements, Graham Burrows, Tim Jackson, Chris Botterill
Builder: Morgan Home Builders
Engineer: BHS Consultants
Landscape: Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, Sophie Mclean
Text Description: © Courtesy of Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, architectureau
Images: © Shannon McGrath, Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

Materials & Suplier:

Roofing: BlueScope Colorbond Spandek – Suntuf polycarbonate in Opal.
External walls: Suntuf polycarbonate in Opal – cedar boards, Cutek finish.
Internal walls: Cedar boards, finished in Wattyl Liming, white.
Windows: Solid cedar frame, Cutek finish.
Flooring: Silvertop ash, Bona Traffic finish.
Lighting: Masson for Light track lights.
Kitchen: Westinghouse oven and cooktop – Qasair rangehood – Asko dishwasher; Abey sink – Rogerseller tapware.
Bathroom: Rogerseller sanitaryware and tapware; Laminex laminate.

Location Map:

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Seaview House / Jackson Clements Burrows Architects
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