A charming, circular escape from the city has popped up on an idyllic stretch of beach in Australia. Powered with solar energy and built with weather-resistant materials, the St Andrews Beach House is the work of Austin Maynard Architects, a Fitzroy-based design practice that prides itself on sustainable architecture. The “Euclidean form” of the dwelling was inspired by the beauty of the remote site and is designed to take advantage of views in all directions.

round wood beach house during the day

Located on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula along secluded coastline near national parkland, the St Andrews Beach House is surrounded by stunning vistas of the water, wild bush, sand dunes and scrub. The simple two-story circular structure was a site-sensitive response to both the fragile environment and the client’s brief for a ‘bach’ — a New Zealand word commonly used for a very modest holiday home. The simplicity of the home’s design helps focus attention on the landscape, while its self-sustaining construction minimizes the building’s environmental footprint.

open-air dining room

white kitchen in home with wood beams and glass walls

“Less than five meters in radius, St Andrews Beach House is an object in the landscape,” the architects explained in a statement. “A Euclidean form set amongst the rough terrain. The plan of the house is generated using the rational and precise geometry, as the circle extrudes into a tube. The internal spaces are generated by a tightly controlled plan adhering to the rules of form, guiding and arranging segments that divide the space, with a spiral staircase as its central core, providing light and air but also snug spaces. This is not a slick beach house, but a relaxed and informal escape, designed with materials that will patina and weather, like an old coastal wharf.”

Related: Swanky laneway house in Melbourne is built from recycled red brick

white room with wood ceiling beams and bunk beds

person with surfboard walking toward round wood beach house

The communal living areas are located on the ground floor while the bedroom and bathroom zone are upstairs. In addition to the home’s small footprint and use of durable materials, the beach house was built with rooftop solar panels as well as double-glazed windows. A large cylindrical concrete water tank harvests rainwater for reuse in the toilets and for irrigation.

+ Austin Maynard Architects

Images by Derek Swalwell via Austin Maynard Architects

round timber beach house lit from within at dusk