Brisbane firm Refresh Design completed the Northern Rivers Beach House, a contemporary take on the Australian beach shack vernacular. Built in a flood-prone area in Byron Bay, Australia, the handsome home is raised off the ground to avoid flooding. The airy home makes use of passive solar design principles, natural ventilation, and open-plan layouts for a comfortable subtropical lifestyle that embraces the outdoors and temperate climate.
The sculptural Northern Rivers Beach House reinterprets traditional building materials, including corrugated metal, fibre-cement sheeting, and timber. Vertical steel cladding wraps around much of the top-heavy building and is punctuated by the addition of wooden balustrades on the stairs and balcony. Horizontal timber battens painted a dark gray clad the supporting first-story plinth, which contains the garage, storage, and laundry room.
The second story extends over the plinth on both ends and is partly supported by cross-braced columns. A large north-facing deck is located on one end of the extension and is shaded by an overhanging roof. Large windows and sliding floor-to-ceiling glass doors frame views and carefully oriented to bring in natural light and cooling sea breezes for natural cross ventilation.
The architects divided the house lengthwise into the private and communal areas; the two bedrooms and bathrooms are located on the west side, while the open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area and a separated study extends along the east side. The interior matches the contemporary facade and is finished with low-cost and sustainable materials that include metal surfaces complemented with plywood ceilings, bamboo flooring, and plantation timber.
Images via Refresh Design, © Damien Bredberg