Forresters Beach House

This is a truly coastal house. Designed and built for a young family of four on a steep and exposed sand dune on the NSW central coast, this Forresters Beach House makes no grand gestures but is redolent with intelligent and thoughtful design.

Coast dwelling is a particularly Australian habit. In the Sydney area, steep topography and coastal bush produces architecture preoccupied with frames, platforms, strong roofs and a somewhat tropical sensibility. This house follows in this rich and valuable tradition in its strong response to site.

Perched over a steep sandy slope above the beach, is tucked into a bush setting connected to a reserve to the west. It is a house which enjoys the search for transparency and ‘’lightness” and has a simple language of frame and skin and the detailing is neat and spare. The single roof plane expresses unity and gives emphasis to the primary view.

The carefully ordered plan is based on a three by four bay grid, with kitchen and services as a central core behind open living spaces permeating the house in all directions. The building accommodates open living with care for privacy. The sleeping areas are simply divided, with children on the north and adults on the south, and interlocking spaces through the section from east to west lend a unity and transparency, and surprisingly result in a sense of both compactness and generosity

Everything about the Forresters Beach House is direct and unpretentious as it creates a delightful place of dwelling through the disposition of spaces and manipulation of light. It displays a timeless confidence, is sensitive to site and habitation, and stimulates the senses.

The great strength of this compelling direct house is its sheer sense of delight, achieved by means that are assured yet disarmingly modest


Photography: Brett Boardman 

Comments paraphrased from Ken Maher