July 17th, 2013 – Surrounded by a family of seasoned Moonah trees, the Blairgowrie House, is an extensive reworking of an existing seaside residence in Victoria. Wolveridge Architects conjured up the contemporary additions to the home with their joyful, and meticulous clients in mind – a young family of five. What was once a modest beach house, has been transformed into a minimalistic and visually balanced wood-filled retreat.
Blairgowrie is a small seaside town along the coastline of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, a place where owner-builder, Tim Prebble, has meticulously executed Wolveridge Architects’ design to produce a flexible and current home for his family. The house’s main living areas occupy the first floor – opening up the long house to an overflowing amount of natural light and expansive views over the Bay.
On the ground level, the garage and storage area neighbor one another, while the master bedroom and bathroom, which remain in the older portion of the house, are found on the significantly smaller second level near the back of the property. Dark stained timber cladding and anodized window frames create a geometric design on the new facade – a rearranged and futuristic play on a Federal styled facade.
The initial design concept was derived from the sheltered, north-facing courtyard, which creates a temperate outdoor area for the house that can be utilized throughout the year. Located at the center of the home, the courtyard welcomes visitors as they climb the stairs from the entrance up to the first floor. The space is sheltered from the sun by a roof of timber battens and from the wind by the rest of the house, buffering the space from cool southeasterly and southwesterly winds.
The main living areas of the home have been configured around the courtyard, joined by a series of louvers that encourage cross-ventilation through the house. Three children’s bedrooms and two bathrooms reside near the front of the home, while behind the courtyard the house opens up to become an open-plan living, kitchen and dining area. The new extension cedes to the existing house, which sits slightly higher on the sloped site. The lower level of the old house has been transformed into a den-like sunken children’s playroom.
Deeply set windows create a patterned facade, allowing light in without overwhelming the house with the intense heat of the summer sun. In sunlight, the aluminum frames of these windows cast shadows over the building’s timber skin, while at night the house becomes illuminated by the glowing, lantern-like windows.