Green Shutter House

Architecture Residential Breamlea , Australia

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1. 1. Green Shutter House

View from Street, shutters open and facing the view.

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2. 2. Green Shutter House

View from Street, closed shutters.

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3. 3. Green Shutter House

View from Street, the post-office post-shutters.

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4. 4. Green Shutter House

View from driveway

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5. 5. Green Shutter House

View from driveway

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6. 6. Green Shutter House

View from side gate

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7. 7. Green Shutter House

View from living to the kitchen

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8. 8. Green Shutter House

View in kitchen from windows

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9. 9. Green Shutter House

View in kitchen from kitchen joinery

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10. 10. Green Shutter House

View of living/dining space from rear entry

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11. 11. Green Shutter House

View of sunny lounge nook

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12. 12. Green Shutter House

View of rear entry from living/dining space

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13. Ground plan - existing

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14. Ground plan - realised

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Description

Green Shutter House is a little project to convert a dour old post office into a beach house. Double-blinded, high sill-ed windows and boxy rooms made the original house frustratingly closed to the great outdoors. A few simple changes have relaxed the house into the more laid-back pace of life at the beach.

It now catches the holiday vibes and opens itself to beautiful views over serene native wetlands as you listen to the muted roar of wild surf beaches from the dune behind. We like to think that it's finally found it's mojo as a sunny summer beach house.

Questions and Answers

Key products used:

Plywood: MAXIplywood “MAXI-Film” and MAXI-Birch Plywood
Kitchen Benchtop: Ceaserstone
Feature Copper Lightfitting: Giffin Design
Other Lighting: Mondo Luce
Kitchen Sink + Tapware: Franke Bolero

What was the brief?

Green Shutter House is a little project to convert a dour old post office into a beach house. Double-blinded, high sill-ed windows and boxy rooms made the original house frustratingly closed to the great outdoors. A few simple changes have relaxed the house into the more laid-back pace of life at the beach.

It now catches the holiday vibes and opens itself to beautiful views over serene native wetlands as you listen to the muted roar of wild surf beaches from the dune behind. We like to think that it's finally found it's mojo as a sunny summer beach house.

How is the project unique?

Our biggest priority was to connect the house to the great outdoors - a MUST for any beach house deserving the name. The existing high-silled windows were removed and the whole front of the house was cut open from floor to ceiling so the ground floor can become a sort of mega-verandah.
The most distinctive element in this reno – the green shutters - may look a little irregular if you look at them from outside but it’s how they work when you are on the inside looking out that counts.

They frame the views from the inside, filter the harshness of the sun and the different greens of the shutter frames are designed to be seen against the landscape of the wetlands.

Why green shutters?

The green shutters may look a bit random if you just look at them from outside but we tried to make all the work here from the inside out so it’s the interior view that counts. The shutters are all about being on the inside looking out - how the views are framed, how the light is filtered, how the variegated green of the shutter frames sit against the landscape of the wetlands. We investigated a few different configurations, including the conventional french door type but the asymmetrical shapes worked best. They allow the top or bottom part of the window to be screened from sun while always keeping key parts of view open. When they're open, they also provide a sort of 'spaceframe' density to the façade like a verandah when we had no room - or budget - to build a verandah.

I've also realised that the busy-ness of the overlapping frames and colours from the outside also provides privacy as they are so distracting!

Location and site?

The house is nestled along a spit of land, sandwiched between a surf beach on one side and marshy wetlands on the other. The site is oriented northwards and looks over the vista of the wetlands. Problem is, the house was so enclosed you wouldn’t know where it was!

What was your approach to materials?

We always try to keep use a palette of robust, low maintenance but naturally beautiful materials with sparing but punchy colours for special elements like the shutters. Internally, we used plywood for new joinery and stone on the bench tops. The shiplap ceilings stayed to keep the beach vibes and there were even a few salvaged ‘barn doors’ re-used.

Details

Project size

118 m2

Site size

403 m2

Completion date

2017

Building levels

2

Project team

Tiny static1

OOF! architecture

Architects

Giffin Design

Lighting Designer

BSA Building Surveyors

Building Surveyors

Cab.Net Joinery

Joiner

Pickering Joinery

Windows + Doors

Mitty & Price

Builders