A Historical-Style Beach House That Expands With The Seasons

The Township Residence by Wolveridge shares a streetscape with Sorrento’s historic Whitehall building. Associate director of Wolveridge, Will Smart, cites this enormous 19th-century limestone guest house as a key design inspiration for the architects’ new (much smaller) residence, constructed by by Smith Builders.

‘The project could not resist referencing some of the more timeless Federation touches,’ Will explains. ‘In particular, the deep verandah with the arched screen openings, which we translated with a contemporary expression.’

Situated one block back from the Ocean Beach Reserve, these upper level decks afford the inhabitants views across the protected parkland, as well as allowing generous amounts of natural light to flood the front living space and master bedroom. Oval openings are carved from slim timber battens cladding the exterior, forming a screen-like shading, and allowing the deep decks to act as covered outdoor extensions to the neighbouring rooms. The weatherboard exterior was painted white to remain consistent with traditional beach house vernacular.

Internally, this dedication to classic coastal architecture continues. Characteristics typical to the Sorrento locale, such as a rough-hewn sandstone wall, and light, creamy paint palette dominate the interiors, giving this home a laid-back, beachy feeling.

Owing to the sloping site, the kitchen, dining, secondary living areas and remaining bedrooms are concentrated to the rear of the upper floor, where outdoor access and natural light are the key features. Extensive glazing opens to a tidy courtyard, with an ancient twisted Moonah tree as its focus.

‘The sublime twin-trunked tree anchors and informs the courtyard, providing an outdoor retreat with a sense of refuge and privacy for the rear wing of the house,’ says Will. Almost independent from the rest of the dwelling, this rear wing can be closed off according to the seasonal flux in visitors.

‘Ultimately, I love the way the home nestles into the street,’ says Will, a result of Wolveridge’s masterful negotiation of heritage restrictions. ‘It almost feels as if it’s been there a lifetime already.’

See more projects from Wolveridge here.


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