Anti-Surburban Beach House: It is natural to be influenced by your travels and to pepper your home with interior memories. For example, after a year of vacation in the Southwest, I fell in love with the desert style and quickly picked up some succulents in pots, a Cosanti wind bell and a few cushions in this peach-coral shade so popular in this region of the country.
Few of us, however, can claim to return from a trip and build an entirely new house inspired by local architecture spotted during the holidays. But this is the case of Vikki, the globetrotter client of the Australian architecture firm Curious Practice. “Vikki has traveled extensively through Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands and has been taken by the sense of connectedness and family friendliness in more traditional areas,” says architect Warren Hasnoot, explaining the unconventional design of his beach house in Newcastle.
Instead of shunted rooms in the hallways, they open onto the main open kitchen and living room to encourage congregation and connection. Instead of doors that shut people off from each other, there are blinds for temporary privacy. And instead of layers of plaster and moldings and paint on the walls, the house frame was left exposed and unfinished, a choice that matched both the client’s budget and the preference for honest materials. (All told, the project came to just under $ 400,000.)
“The record has always been described as a flexible house that could accommodate different family arrangements, but most of the time Vikki talked about the grandchildren and an interesting place for them to explore and feel safe,” says Warren.
With these measures (and more), Curious Practice has succeeded. Let’s take a ride.
Photograph of Katherine Lu, courtesy of Curious Practice.