Sustainable horizons

Sustainable horizons


Peter Woolard of Studio 101 Architects took the time to explain the process behind this award-winning home on the Bellarine Peninsula, Victoria.

sustainable living 

The Brief:
An evolving brief that started with kitchen and bathroom and became much larger meant the owners of this holiday home capitalised on views, sunshine and ocean breeze.

• A re-working of the existing building fabric.
• A sustainable, sensitive and delicate fusion of raw and refined materials.
• A space that would nestle into the treed coastal environment.

What was the house like before the renovation?
The Beach House at Edwards Point is an extension and renovation to an existing single-storey brick veneer holiday home. The existing house was cold, dark, outdated and didn’t meet the needs of a growing family. It also had no access to north light, did not take advantage of the cooling sea breezes during summer and didn’t link the internal spaces with the external coastal environment.

Post-renovation, how would you describe the home?
The design concept involved reworking the ground-floor planning, peeling back the existing roof and sensitively grafting and floating a new timber-clad upper level with infill glazing incorporated to the north and south for a sense of lightness, views and transparency. Internally, a new central storage spine horizontally separates and delineates the living zone from the bedrooms. Furthermore, a new timber-lined wet-area pod vertically links the upper and lower floors, forming a new mezzanine parents’ retreat while creating a thermal chimney effect to siphon out the rising hot air in summer.

What were some of the special design considerations of the project?
Improving the quality of the internal living environment; both spatially and environmentally. This was achieved through reworking the floor plan, recycling/reusing materials and incorporating sustainable initiatives.

What was your inspiration for the design?
The surrounding wetlands; beautiful but rugged and robust to withstand the harsh coastal environment.

What is your favourite part of the renovated space?
The double-height void surrounding the internal timber pod that links the upper and lower levels via internal bridges and the mezzanine retreat. Also, the new openplan living space spilling out to the north- and east-facing entertaining decks.

Were there any unusual challenges you had to overcome?
Budgets and time programs are ever-present on our projects. The use of economical materials in a creative and sensitive way led to a cost-effective project result.

Why is this renovation special?
This project grasps the opportunity to reuse, recycle and re-inhabit an existing holiday home, maintaining the sentimentality of the existing form and materials while providing a playful and exciting adaptation of the new requirement for a growing family. The sustainably minded mix of raw and refined materials coupled with the use of active technology-based systems led to not only a sustainable outcome but a beautiful living environment.

Environmental Efficiency:
The building structure and materials (including the face masonry) were incorporated, recycled or reused. Sun-protected solar orientation has been carefully considered with external walls, floors and roofs fully insulated. Timber-framed, argon gas-filled double glazing is incorporated, while the plan maximises cross-flow ventilation with a combination of operable systems including glazed doors, louvre windows, internal pivot and sliding doors, along with windows at both high and low levels. A solar hot-water service, water tanks and a grey vwater recycling system have been incorporated.

Photography by Trevor Mein of MeinPhoto 

Project Particulars:
Designed by: Studio 101 Architects
1 Dennys Place, Geelong Victoria 3220
03 5221 9131

Built by: Bolder Constructions
03 5254 2352 

Awards: 2009 Australia Timber Design Award for Best Residential Renovation

Kitchen, dining, living and stairs: Spotted gum timber flooring
Bedroom: Edwardstown Carpets in Studio

Kitchen: Laminex and plasterboard
Internal Paint: Dulux White Swan
Other: Dressed white cypress timber to internal pod

Benchtop: CaesarStone Cashmere
Splashback: White Starfire glass
Cabinetry: Laminex Fossil, Parchment and Olive; white cypress

Basin: Fowler Lucid wall basin and toilets
Toilets: Fowler Lucid wall-hung
Tapware: Accent Intamix Geo Viva

Sonic Lighting

Windows + external doors:
KDHW timber-framed, argon gas-filled double-glazing

Pergola: Sawn white cypress timber pergolas, posts, decking structure and infill cladding
Decking: Spotted gum
Walls: Existing, reused and recycled face brickwork, dressed spotted gum shiplap cladding, sawn white cypress