A former post office has been revived as a bright and breezy beach house in Breamlea, Australia. Designed by St. Kilda-based design firm OOF! Architecture, the modern makeover—dubbed the Green Shutter House—was created for clients who had already adapted the post office into a home but were frustrated with the building’s lack of connection with the outdoors. The renovation process opened the front of the house up to waterfront views while introducing more natural light and ventilation to the interior for improved energy savings.
Oriented northwards, the Green Shutter House is located on a spit of land sandwiched between a surf beach and marsh wetlands. As a former post office, the original building had boxy dimensions and few views of the outdoors. To connect the home with the landscape, the architects removed the existing high-silled windows and cut the entire front of the house open to create a veranda-like space on the ground floor. An eye-catching addition of green shutters protects the veranda-like space from the searing sun.
“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 architects explain. “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. 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.”
To keep within the modest budget, the architects used a palette of robust and low maintenance natural materials. Plywood was used for the interior joinery, while stone was chosen for the countertops. Salvaged barn doors were also installed. The shiplap ceilings were retained to reinforce the home’s beach vibes. The interior was also rearranged for a more spacious open-plan layout.
Images by Tatjana Plitt