A Beach-side Bach (Aussie-style)...
In New Zealand a 'bach' is a modest beach shack -- designed for basic shelter. The bach is kept simple because the real living is done outdoors. When MRTN Architects were asked to design a beach home for a family of five originally from NZ, the traditional bach was the perfect starting point.
Venus Bay Bach on Gippsland's rugged coastline is a second home small enough to stick to the tight budget, but spacious enough to house family and friends for the weekend. And it doesn't ignore spectacular views and northern sun...
Opening Up: The home steps down, following the natural slope of the site. The ceiling height is maintained, so the whole space opens up towards the spectacular view.
Venus Bay Bach, Bro!
Like many holiday homes, this beach house had to be built on a tight budget. But it still needed enough space for weekends with friends and extended family. MRTN Architects managed to fit 4 bedrooms and a spacious living area into this tight plan.
The main problem the architects had to solve with Venus Bay Bach House was how to make the small house feel bigger than it is. The solution was a plan that follows the natural slope of the site and opens up towards a beautiful, natural landscape.
Viewing Portal: The home opens up to the North to create a sunny deck area that takes advantage of the view.
Following the Natural Contours: The home works with the land, stepping down the site inline with the slope of the site.
(Outdoor) Room With a View: The covered deck is more like an outdoor room. It is positioned to take in the rugged landscape at the rear of the property.
Sunken Lounge: The home steps down in line with the slope of the site. This provides a nice, sunken lounge and sitting space and opens the house to the view.
Built In: A built-in couch makes for an efficient use of space.
Built-in Bunks: Two rooms of built in bunks creates plenty of space for the kids and their friends.
Natural Tones: Like the dusty green exterior of the house, the kitchen is a green-grey with a splash of green. This connects it to the scrubby tea-trees that surround the home.
A Deck For Living
The large deck is the secret to opening the house up and making it feel larger. Covered from above and the sides, it is well-protected and can be used as an outdoor room. In summer it is shady and cooled by natural breezes. In winter the sun streams in, making it a tempting place to sit or lay and enjoy the sun.
The kids love to play on the deck, but the adults aren't left out. It hosts dinner parties, afternoon naps and impromptu performances from the children. It really is an extension of the home.
The home is clad in board and batten timber that was sustainably harvested and processed. The boards are stained a dusty green to help it blend into the surrounding tea-tree scrub.
Well-Loved and Well-Used
"This house is loved and well used by the clients, whole families come and stay while other friends drop by for a visit, packs of children put on plays from the deck, there are snacks and drinks at the outside table while others retreat inside for a quiet read. And this can all happen at the same time and that is what a bach is all about." — MRTN Architects
Deceptively Simple: From the entry the home looks deceptively small and simple. But as you enter, the view and the widening floorplan is revealed, making the home feel spacious and welcoming.
A deck for all seasons: The deep, long covered deck is sunny and protected in winter. In summer it is shaded and cool, making it perfect for any season. The kids love to play on the deck and it serves as the perfect place to stage impromptu plays.
An Australian Take on the Beach Bach
MRTN Architects have done a terrific job of translating the New Zealand-style Beach Bach for an Australian site. Both humble and practical, Venus Bay Bach is true to the original. Clever and stylish touches such as the angled and sloping plan and the generous covered deck make it the perfect modern (Australian) beach retreat.