A Superb Australian Home Angles For Seaside Views
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A Superb Australian Home Angles For Seaside Views

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By Michele Koh Morollo
Megowan Architectural orients the concrete-and-wood Two Angle House on the Mornington Peninsula to best capture views of the sea and sun.

A recently retired doctor and his wife commissioned Melbourne architect Christopher Megowan of Megowan Architectural to create their three-level, 5,920-square-foot home in the seaside town of Mount Eliza on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. 

The couple’s main concern was that the key living areas of the house be located on one floor, so they can engage in most of their day-to-day living on one level despite the hillside nature of the site. They wanted to concentrate most of the functional zones on this upper level because it presents the best views of the sea. 

From the street, the house appears as a modest, single-family home in scale with many of the older, post-war homes which exist in the area. But upon entering the house, it’s surprisingly expansive.

From the street, the house appears as a modest, single-family home in scale with many of the older, post-war homes which exist in the area. But upon entering the house, it’s surprisingly expansive.

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The sustainable, energy-efficient house is equipped with water tanks, solar panels, and has solar-heated water for the pool and domestic use.

The sustainable, energy-efficient house is equipped with water tanks, solar panels, and has solar-heated water for the pool and domestic use.

Colorbond was used for the roofing and cladding.

Colorbond was used for the roofing and cladding.

Because the house occupies a corner site, Megowan had the opportunity to break away from the prevailing pattern of development that the other houses in the area follow. While some of the more functional elements of the house are aligned to the subdivision grid, the main spaces are cranked off-grid to better orient to the views and sun. "From there, the design resulted from contrasting the two angles internally and then setting up a contrasting, but almost thematic, material palette—bold concrete contrasting against warm timber," says Megowan. 

Wood slats flank the entranceway.

Wood slats flank the entranceway.

Once the front door opens, one can see all the way through to the sea.

Once the front door opens, one can see all the way through to the sea.

"The hillside context worked in our favor in this regard as the entrance is at the highest point of the site, therefore reducing the scale from the street," says Megowan, who designed a massive, board-formed blade wall which starts at a single-story scale, then extends down a double-height stair void and ultimately ends up nearly three stories tall at its western extent. 

"The interior and exterior are a play on the contrast between two angles of internal organization, the contrast between warm and cold materials, and a considered contrast between architecture and landscape," he adds.

Because it angles off the suburban grid, the house is able to stretch from east to west across the site so every room enjoys optimal passive solar gain.

Because it angles off the suburban grid, the house is able to stretch from east to west across the site so every room enjoys optimal passive solar gain.

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Tom Dixon Beat Light Pendant – Stout
Tom Dixon Beat Light Pendant – Stout
The design and inception of the Beat Lights originated from a field trip to India that Tom Dixon took his Royal College students on. Their mission was to investigate how design affects the livelihood of different cultures and peoples.
The master bathroom juts out on the upper level.

The master bathroom juts out on the upper level.

One of the most striking features of the house is the play of warm, saturated spotted gum—used for the joinery, flooring in some of the bedrooms, the study, ceilings, decks, soffits, threshold, and inlays—against cool concrete used for benchtops, floor, walls, and paving. 

One of the most striking features of the house is the play of warm, saturated spotted gum—used for the joinery, flooring in some of the bedrooms, the study, ceilings, decks, soffits, threshold, and inlays—against cool concrete used for benchtops, floor, walls, and paving. 

The interior layout brings another layer of contrast: the ocean view and scale is denied by the large, pivot entry door, then revealed to provide a dramatic juxtaposition between the suburban scale of the front, and the statement views and spaces of the rear. 

A Fameg Armchair B-1234 and Sean Dix Forte Rectangular Glass Coffee Table from Remodern adorn the living room.

A Fameg Armchair B-1234 and Sean Dix Forte Rectangular Glass Coffee Table from Remodern adorn the living room.

The living room flows into the kitchen and dining area, placed before a natural backdrop.

The living room flows into the kitchen and dining area, placed before a natural backdrop.

The home emphasizes a pull to the western view: joinery volumes, the direction of decking and soffits, the board forming in the concrete, the custom elongated strip lighting, and the large cantilevered decks all stretch westward to reinforce and frame the surrounding scenery. 

The home emphasizes a pull to the western view: joinery volumes, the direction of decking and soffits, the board forming in the concrete, the custom elongated strip lighting, and the large cantilevered decks all stretch westward to reinforce and frame the surrounding scenery. 

Concrete countertops by Newform Concreting lead the eye towards a large picture window.

Concrete countertops by Newform Concreting lead the eye towards a large picture window.

Spotted gum accents an otherwise white kitchen. The countertop drops down at one end to turn into a breakfast bar.

Spotted gum accents an otherwise white kitchen. The countertop drops down at one end to turn into a breakfast bar.

A Fameg Table ST-1403 from Remodern provides a minimalist dining setting.

A Fameg Table ST-1403 from Remodern provides a minimalist dining setting.

The master bedroom faces the north and east, so the couple can awaken to the rising sun and enjoy magnificent views across the bay to the Melbourne CBD. The west- and north-facing kitchen, living room, and outdoor terrace make the best of the sunset views. 

The use of concrete throughout provides thermal mass, while in-slab hydronic heating also stabilizes temperature. 

The use of concrete throughout provides thermal mass, while in-slab hydronic heating also stabilizes temperature. 

A Kado Lure freestanding tub in the bathroom provides opportunity for an luxurious soak.

A Kado Lure freestanding tub in the bathroom provides opportunity for an luxurious soak.

"The spaces are filled with sunlight, and there are stunning views from nearly every room in the house. The clients have told us many times how happy they are living in the house," says Megowan. 

Two Angle House underground floor plan

Two Angle House underground floor plan

Two Angle House lower level plan

Two Angle House lower level plan

Two Angle House upper level plan

Two Angle House upper level plan

Related Reading: Vaulted Skylights and Concrete Columns Connect This Melbourne Home With the Sun 

Project Credits: 

Architect: Christopher Megowan of Megowan Architectural /  @megowanarchitectural

Builder: Kabsav Projects 

Structural engineering: La Porta Consulting Engineers

Landscape design: John Patrick Landscape Architecture