The Balnarring House was designed by Simon Couchman Architects
The brief called for a family holiday house where family could be together but not on top of one another. The wide, north-facing block some 5 minutes walk from Balnarring Beach on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula offered the perfect opportunity to build such a house. Amongst the tea-tree and banksia are the sandy driveways of 1950s-style fibro shacks alternating with the modern housing indicative of the continuing development of the region.
While sympathetic to its surroundings, the design of the house seeks to make use of the entire site. The single level U-shaped building steps up towards the rear of the block following the gentle slope of the land. An integrated landscape solution helps to create a series of indoor and outdoor spaces.
The front wing provides a sleeping zone away from the main living areas. A family room here can be opened to the central courtyard and also to a fully-secured front yard defined by a curved, vertical batten fence which arcs back to the house, connecting to a curved wall leading visitors to the front door. A glazed corridor links entry and family wing to the rear living areas with a free-standing spine wall concealing a smaller private courtyard addressed only by the master bedroom and study.
Architects: Simon Couchman Architects
Location: Balnarring Beach
Project Engineer: KH Engineering
Building Contractor: Nepean Houseworks
Landscape: Fiona Brockhoff
Photographs: Christine Francis