Architecture studio Woods Bagot has completed the latest stage of a weathered seaside house in Australia that has been 20 years in the making. Designed as a home for Woods Bagot CEO Nik Karalis, the St Andrews Beach Villa began in 1999 as a simple shack on Mornington Peninsula. Over the years it has gradually evolved into what is now a five-bedroom villa with a pool, cabana, glasshouse and full-width deck.
Over time St Andrews Beach Villa has been adapted and altered to deal with its challenging site. The peninsula is subject to intense winds, constantly shifting sand-dunes and a high concentration of salt in the atmosphere, which speeds up the corrosion of materials.
St Andrews Beach Villa is a simple steel box raised on supports with a panoramic living space facing south-west towards the sea. A 25 metre-wide stepped deck is cut through by a passage that leads into the undercroft, slotted below to provides a more intimate, sheltered space. The villa’s entrance sits on its sheltered rear facade, where a steel ramp leads up to a reception area and also to the pool and cabana. The rear and sides of the villa have clad with a rainscreen of jarrah wood panels, through which north light can filter in.
Internal finishes have been created through a mixture of newer elements and old, worn materials from St Andrews Beach Villa’s previous iterations. Bedrooms sit arranged along this more sheltered, northern side of the plan, while the glazed front provides far more exposure.