From Caroline Wallis
Eco-friendly features like solar panels and rainwater catchments keep this retreat's environmental footprint small.
Characterized by a balmy, temperate climate, the seaside Australian town Mount Martha couldn’t be a better site for this oceanfront home that opens itself to the sea breeze. OLA Studio, the firm behind the project, touts a strong commitment to passive thermal efficiency, exemplified by this project’s strategic planning and choice of materials. The four-bedroom, timber-clad home faces south to receive constant daylight and cross-ventilation via operable windows and a creative lighting scheme. The clients wanted a space that could easily accommodate any future children and friends. The home features three primary zones, each of which can be completely closed off from one another to provide both internal climate control and privacy. Ideally, however, the house would stay open to the outdoors. As OLA Studio's director Phil Snowdon explains, “These [ocean] views continue to hold your attention through the other rooms, allowing the intricacies of the dwelling to slowly reveal themselves.”