Somers is a small town, on the Mornington Peninsula, just out of Melbourne. The sleepy little town wakes up most weekends to the throng of day-trippers and holiday-housers from the big smoke. The town is dotted with beach houses and holiday shacks. And, increasingly, more sophisticated permanent homes. Somers Beach House by March Studio falls somewhere in between. The home is inspired by those traditional beach houses, but the expert attention to detail lends it a more refined quality.
Influenced by A-frame and skillion roofs typical of the area, this modern beach house can host all those day trippers plus the clients' extensive art collection. March Studio chose to seperate the home into two wings - one for living and the master bedroom suite and the second as a guest wing. This allows the house the required flexibility to be a more modest-sized home during quieter times and a full-fledged entertainer when guests visit for the weekend.
Glu-lam beams make up the primary structure in the house. In the living pavilion, the beams form a traditional skillion as they open up towards the sun, while the guest pavilion employs a distorted A-frame to define an entrance to the house and to shade from the brunt of the western sun. The beams blonde timbers combine perfectly with plywood lining to create a beachy, driftwood-like appearance - it's like the Valencia filter IRL.
In the spirit of close-knit beach-side communities, the home opens up to its surroundings and its neighbours. The pavilions are arranged in an L-shape open towards the street. There's no such thing as a front door near the beach (or if there is, no one answers it), friends enter through the back door.
Somers Beach House faces both front and back, manipulating those silly conventions of privacy in the backyard and rose trimming in the front yard, to suit the more relaxed atmosphere of Somers life. Instead of a front and back yard, Somers Beach House has a morning and an afternoon deck - how relaxed!
Similarly, the house does away with internal corridors. Instead, circulation takes place outdoors - in that nature you drove through kilometres-worth of SUVs to reach.
Retractable blinds to the North are a colourful, beachy touch which, of course, are doubly practical. On those hot summer days, the colourful blinds can be drawn to keep the house cooler.
Somers Beach House is a fun and well-detailed take on the beach house. Its layout provides the right amount of flexibility for an area renowned for weekend getaways and the clients who love to host their friends and family, while hunkering down during the off-times. The design of this home really captures the spirit of beach towns and the the spirit of the owners.