Mid-century beach style reimagined – Bones House by Lachlan Shepherd Architects
A tired dwelling gets a dramatic glow up in the iconic beachside town of Bells Beach.
Situated on an expansive hilltop property overlooking the legendary Bells Beach Surfing Reserve, the mid-century dwelling that would become Bones House may have been functional, but a beach house it was not.
A brick veneer construction wrapped around a fibro skeleton, the dilapidated three-bedroom cottage had sat on the market for many months despite its prime location, just waiting for a willing buyer with an inspired eye to give it a new lease on life.
And when that buyer arrived, Torquay-based Lachlan Shepherd Architects were called in to unlock the evident potential of the site, reimagining its original charms for a new era of comfortable beachside luxury by re-examining what its floor plan could offer, and embedding it more immediately in its coastal context.
The brief was anything but simple – to introduce a relaxed resort-style atmosphere to the dwelling while retaining original elements where appropriate, all with an emphasis on the kind of quality that speaks softly but communicates volumes.
Lachlan Shepherd Architects more than rose to the challenge.
To open up the dwelling to its natural environment, timber decks were added on either side of the home’s central stack where the living area sits, enabling an expansive space between the three zones of the house when opened up – aided by a raising of the ceilings, elevating the internal sense of space considerably and allowing seamless transitions between indoors and out.
The relationship of the building with its surrounds was also enhanced by the use of warm, neutral tones, with extensive use of timber and brick – much of it already existing – endowing Bones House with an earthy, rustic yet utterly refined aesthetic that retains the home’s original character while rendering it utterly modern at the same time. It is, in a sense, immediately timeless.
Adding to its inviting atmosphere and making it a home for all seasons are Bone House’s seven fireplaces – four in the main house, and two outdoors – to fend off the bitter cold of the winds from the Southern Ocean during the winter months.
It’s a task which the Stûv 30 slow combustion wood heater handles with aplomb, fitting naturally into the relaxed atmosphere of one of the dwelling’s sitting rooms and its floor to ceiling windows, bringing both warmth and a degree of European refinement to the interior.
Bones House represents a reimagining of mid-century style rendered with both finesse and flair – a bridge between eras that honours the character of its original incarnation, while quietly revelling in what a modern sensibility can impart to the living experience.
Suffice to say, the prospective buyers who passed up the original property must be looking on with no small sense of regret at what that tired old place on the hill has transformed into – an elegant, inviting, and entirely captivating home by the sea, ready to impart its warmth to a new era of habitation in signature style.