The calm geometric exterior of the Fairhaven Beach House in Victoria, Australia belies a dramatic, fluid wood-lined interior inspired by the adjacent sea. The home is made up of zinc-clad volumes that reach out over the hillside for views of the picturesque Bass Strait, including a cantilevered study on the top floor.
Located on the scenic Great Ocean Road, this three-story home by John Wardle Architects is focused squarely on the water in virtually every facet of its design. The muted gray-green of the exterior helps it blend into the seaside vegetation of the hill, with the entire ocean-facing side of the house made up of glazed walls.
The exterior shape follows the contours of the landscape, while the inside seems to twist and flow as if it were carved from water like an ancient cave. With each successive space within the residence, the architects sought to build a feeling of suspense.
Making their way through the home, visitors pass through corridors partially obscured by angled walls, which give only tantalizing glimpses of the view beyond. Taking in that view at last through any one of the rooms that open up to the beach is intended to be akin to a cinematic climax.