Melbourne-based practice Rob Kennon Architects design an equally sensitive and assertive architectural response to the Flinders coastal landscape.
The Bluff House by Rob Kennon Architects sets a precedence for how an architectural beach house settles among its surrounds. Idilicly positioned on the bluff on the outskirts of Flinders, Victoria, this dual-owned beach house co-exists with its environment, while making a clear distinction from the shrubbed landscape.
Where the owners can sit back and watch the waves roll in, the Bluff House offers protection and seclusion and at the same time, captures a sense of fluidity we all yearn for in a home by the sea.
To enter the home, you are led down a concrete wall that gives no indication of the grand view before you. Crossing the garden and stepping onto a platform, you are at once privy to the ocean outlook among a crop of Sheoak trunks. The home is relatively large, but in this setting, it doesn’t dominate with semi-submerged bedrooms disguised below. Rob Kennon Architects borrowed from the landscape to increase the perceived size, focusing on connection and separation to keep to a small footprint.
Being dual-owned, the home needed to cater to distinct zones. An east-facing living space opens out onto two outdoor living areas to the north and west, while segmenting the two master bedrooms. Keeping the Ceppo di Gre floor tiles consistent across this level allows the living space to unfold onto the outdoor areas and welcome a fresh sea breeze, as though one continuous platform.
The adaptability of these outdoor wings ensures usage in different weather conditions. It’s here the clients love to watch the weather change while feeling entirely shielded from it. Below, Rob Kennon Architects have designed a third bedroom zone with children’s rumpus room. Throughout storage has been concealed to reduce clutter and emphasise the sea view.
The Bluff House demonstrates how a dedication to craftsmanship can come to shape the overall design. Rob Kennon Architects worked with builder Ross Stapleton who meticulously built the joinery, laid stone and created fine details by hand such as the timber hooks. Rob Kennon Architects attribute the project’s success to Ross Stapleton’s dedication to quality.
Stained black, spotted gum clads the exterior of the home, balancing the full-height glazing, just as American oak lines the interior, offering a natural warmth. Rob Kennon Architects made no shortcuts with the choice of furnishings such as the Togo Fireside Chair by Michael Ducaroy for Ligne Roset in the rumpus room, the Knoll Diamond Chair by Harry Bertoia in the living space, and the Jardan Otto dining table and bench seat in American Oak.
The Bluff House may be exposed to the elements, but Rob Kennon Architects have ensured its functional and thermal characteristics can’t be faulted. The firm’s dedication to the form’s response to its environment has established a long-lasting beachside home that feels warm and private – yet open – all at once.
One comment on “Bluff House by Rob Kennon Architects”
Such an elegant and practical layout by the description. It’s also wonderful to know that dual occupancy is something that young families are prepared to do. It makes sense, not only for beach houses, also for accommodation given Australia’s shortage of well-designed and constructed homes. I love the simplicity of the architect’s palette, combined with excellent storage solutions and quality materials. The building is all the more refined due to a caring builder: someone who leaves a beautiful legacy in this case.