Collection by Caroline Wallis

This Little Guy Bucks the Trend Toward Bigger Beach Houses


Smart spatial planning coupled with green design make for a home that is as elegant as it is practical.

Located in the beachside town of Somers in Australia, this 600-square-foot home by Open Studio stands out from the single-story crowd by hovering over the landscape. Imagined as something more permanent than just a weekend escape, it allows for flexible programming with an open-floor plan and room for guests on the lower level. The structure is designed to disrupt the surrounding landscape as little as possible. From locally sourced timber cladding to a rainwater infiltration system, the final design harmonizes with the natural elements.

The home’s program is divided into three zones—the uppermost living area, the lower-level master bedroom, and...
The facade uses sustainably harvested and local PEFC-certified Australian timber cladding.
Floor-to-ceiling pivot doors and flushed skirting make the boxy space appear much higher and larger.
Located just off the dining room, the deck can effortlessly transform into extra entertainment space.
A defining green feature is the on-site stormwater infiltration system.
All windows are shaded by deep overhangs, minimizing solar heat gain.
Elevating the home as opposed to excavating offers built-in protection against flooding from the riverbank.