A Coastal Home in Australia Echoes Northern California’s Sea Ranch

Architecture firm Insider Outsider followed similar design principals to achieve a wood-clad sustainable home that syncs with its setting.

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Project Details:

Location: Flinders, Victoria, Australia

Architect: Insider Outsider

Builder: Loreco Constructions / @loreco_constructions

Landscape Design: Kuku Design

Footprint: 3,200 square feet

From the Architect: "The vision for the project was to create a timeless and singular piece of architecture that is embedded in its landscape and responsive to a sense of place, weathers gracefully, and performs the delicate double act of being a layered coastal house and a secluded suburban retreat.

"The formal outcome was very much driven by the site and context, by the needs of the occupants, and by specific ideas about enclosure and release, but embedded in the design process was a strong focus on sustainability, structural simplicity, and "buildability," which is legible in the scale of the building.

"The relentlessness and resilience of the sustainably sourced external timber skin is balanced by the richness and tactile warmth of the internal skin, with a meeting of reclaimed timbers, recycled bricks, and tonal surfaces.

"The site is in a coastal environment, but it is also within a township zone and therefore the building itself has to wear many hats: It’s a functional family home, a transient indoor/outdoor terrain, a secluded retreat and a dynamic entertainer. There is also a sense of acknowledgement of, and contribution to, the streetscape—it engages with the evolving built environment and offers a fresh take on sustainable coastal development.

"The entire site is designed as an arrangement of spaces without hierarchy between inside and outside, and the spaces themselves have critical sequential relationships to their use, to each other and to opportunities provided by the land and broader environment. The form of the building is also used to protect the site from prevailing winds and rain, as well as to control and receive sunlight on its surfaces across the seasons.

"The project also set high goals for environmental performance and for its energy efficiency both in day to day terms and with regards to embodied energy. A rigorous approach to passive solar design pushed the house to ultimately reach a 7.5 star NatHERS rating, featuring high levels of insulation, timber framed double glazed windows, a 10kw solar array and significant on-site water storage and reuse. The benefits of this approach are felt well beyond the numbers, making the warm, naturally lit, and tactile home a pleasure to inhabit."

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