Three Connected Pavilions Form This Airy Australian Beach Retreat

Three Connected Pavilions Form This Airy Australian Beach Retreat

By Melissa Dalton
Jackson Clements Burrows Architects replace a derelict beach shack in Barwon Heads, Victoria, with three minimalist, pitched-roof structures that invite the community in.

Having vacationed in the small, seaside town of Barwon Heads, Victoria, for many years, the clients of this rebuild project were quite familiar with the local community. They wanted their new home, which would eventually become their permanent residence, to blend in. Jackson Clements Burrows Architects, who led the project, explains, "The clients were seeking a house that would integrate effortlessly with the existing streetscape whilst acknowledging the changing character of the town." 

To that end, the architects designed the new house as three clustered, pitched-roof pavilions, whose forms subtly reference nearby single-story cottages. By breaking down the house into separate structures, the architects were mindful of how the new program would blend in with the scale of the smaller cottages in the neighborhood.

From this angle, all three buildings can be seen, two of which are clad in wood. The foremost building is wrapped in white polycarbonate.

"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," say the architects.

The three structures are linked by a covered walkway and surround a north-facing courtyard protected from coastal winds. There is no fence to encourage interaction with neighbors.

Another view of the covered walkway skirting the courtyard and leading to the primary living areas.

Inside the southern pavilion, there is the primary open-plan living space, a study, a laundry room, and a guest bedroom and bath. The northwestern pavilion (not seen here) is more private and is occupied by the master bedroom and ensuite. The two structures are linked by a breezeway with an outdoor shower.

A streamlined kitchen is defined by its white cabinetry against the surrounding cedar walls. The floor is composed of Ash wood.

High ceilings make the narrow footprint feel more expansive. A short, glazed passage connects the polycarbonate structure to this room. That passageway also hosts the front entry.

The white polycarbonate structure functions as a more protected version of a porch. Timber battens provide shading and cross ventilation. "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," say the architects. "This space provides cool, shaded, ventilated space in summer (doors open) and a warm, passively heated space in winter (doors closed)."

In the homeowners' previous beach cottage, they had a table by the window from which they could talk to neighbors on the street. The architects made sure to recreate that here. "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," say the architects.

Project Credits:

Architecture and Interior Design: Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

Builder: Morgan Home Builders

Structural: BHS Consultants

Landscape Design: Sophie Mclean

Joinery: Cattanach Kitchens

Photography: Shannon McGrath


Get the Dwell Newsletter

Be the first to see our latest home tours, design news, and more.