The Villa at Barwon Heads

The Villa at Barwon Heads

Private Houses
Barwon Heads VIC, Australia - Build completed in 2017
Shannon McGrath.

The Villa at Barwon Heads

Bower Architecture and Interiors as Architects

The client brief for a breezy and spacious beachside retreat required engaging simple solutions to address and respect opportunities of site and surrounds.


An L-shaped plan wraps around the outer perimeter of the corner site, offering protection and privacy. Inspired by an abundance of gable roof beach houses, an abstracted silhouette shape is extruded through the new house, creating a clerestory and sculpting out intriguing interior experiences.


Rigorous internal planning generated a journey through three zones within the house: the entry and living areas facing north, the guest and study zone at the corner, and the enfilade master bedroom wing further north. A covered walkway buffers the master bedroom from the garden, creating a private edge to the dramatic lap pool. The walkway begins one of a series of parallel long viewlines through the house.


The house has been carefully planned for optimal thermal performance, usalising thermal mass internally, through an insulated slab.


Additionally, solar power meets the needs of a typical day’s electrical demands, requiring zero contribution from the mains. This has been acheived though the design incoproration of 5.415KW solar panels located on the garage roof and concealed from view. Power is stored with a 5/6 kw inverter and Tesla Power wall (6.4 kwh battery system).


The house includes mechanised windows for chimney-effect ventilation, drawing in cool air from over the pool, along with carefully designed sun-shading roofs and vertical screens.


The design includes extensive use of sustainably grown Australian Blackbutt hardwood cladding and maximised insulation throughout. Natural daylight floods through the house via high performance double gazed windows and skylights.


The house also includes a 20,000L underground water tank for toilet flushing and irrigation.


The Villa at Barwon Heads was short listed in the Residential category of the Australian Interior Design Awards 2017, short listed for the Sustainability Award in the Houses Awards 2017, and short listed for the Intergrain Timber Vision Awards for Residential Exterior 2017.

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