Beaumaris House by Clare Cousins Architects

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    Clare Cousins Architects design a suburban sanctuary for a young family in Melbourne’s Beaumaris.

    Being on a corner block required Clare Cousins Architects to deliver a more sculptural form for this new family home in Beaumaris. “Corner sites have inherent challenges as well as benefits,” says Clare, citing fewer neighbours on one hand, yet the need to create additional privacy from the street.

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    The living room features the Dandelion Rug – Natural by Armadillo, L’Oiseau Bird in wood designed by French brothers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra and the Paper Coffee Table by Gubi.

    Constructed from recycled bricks and bagged in a natural sand finish, the Beaumaris House as it’s referred to, includes a Blackbutt timber entry that extends to conceal double garage doors. “Garage doors often negatively dominate suburban streets. We prefer to materially and formerly integrate within the façade so they visually recede,” Clare says, who refers to the form as monolithic with a protruded over-scaled bay window to the north to allow for a 180-degree aspect of the garden, designed by Eckersley Garden Architecture (EGA). The home’s alcove-shaped windows to the street and angular masonry columns to the garden have been, according to Clare, ‘eroded’ figuratively rather than literally.

    “Being so close to the beach (Ricketts Point is only a short stroll away) I wanted to express a sense of erosion, not dissimilar to the weathering of a cliff face over time,” she says.

    The Beaumaris House includes a rumpus room/home theatre room and gymnasium at the basement level accessed from a central staircase that extends across the home’s three levels. “We felt it was more appropriate to locate the garage at street level, allowing shopping to be brought straight into the kitchen,” Clare says, who also steered away from the singular large open plan kitchen and living area found in most contemporary homes. Here, the timber-lined staircase delineates the kitchen and ‘boat room’ (the semi-circular-shaped area leading from the kitchen with wrap around built-in seating) from the more formal dining and living area. “Our clients requested separation between these zones, particularly having young children,” she says.

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    The kitchen features the Dita Stool by Grazia&Co in a smooth grey, which compliments the curvaceous island bench. The Highline pendant by Rakumba is suspended above.

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    On the first floor are four bedrooms (one each for the four children), a shared bathroom, together with a main bedroom and ensuite for the parents. And mindful of the need to address the fairly exposed site, Clare Cousins Architects included a Juliet-style balcony leading from the parent’s ensuite to allow both privacy and, as importantly, the smell of salt air to permeate the house.

    Curved timber walls are expressed throughout the house, as well as in the kitchen with its curved timber island bench. These subtle curves not only add texture to the home but are given even greater clarity when combined with the travertine floors that appear throughout the ground floor. “It’s a robust home, given there are four young children, but there’s also a level of formality,” Clare says, pointing out the timber-clad secret doors in the front entrance, one leading to the kitchen and ‘boat room’, the other to the entertaining dining and living areas.

    “This house was designed for a couple with four young children, but it was also conceived as a home that would evolve and adapt as the family moves through its life cycle,” Clare adds.

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    The Ottocento Bath in the bathroom.

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    The sculptured masonry home enjoys two street frontages. While this makes it more prominent to the street, it is located opposite an unsealed road that leads to the local beach.

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