In a quiet court in the Victorian beach-side town of Aireys Inlet is Court House - a unique beach home designed by Peter Winkler Architects. Just a short walk to the beach and set amongst native Moona trees, the home is a tranquil retreat...
Clad in recycled Australian timber, Court House feels comfortable in this coastal landscape.
Court House centres around a courtyard. In fact, two wings of the home - sleeping and living - are separated by this central space. To move from the bedroom to the kitchen, for example, you have to move through this semi-outdoor space, creating a strong connection to the landscape and nature. The courtyard is also the main access to the house, in keeping with the beach town culture of entering via the more casual back door!
Rusty steel (Cor-ten) gates bifold to completely enclose the courtyard in cooler months or when the owners are travelling. The courtyard is also covered with translucent polycarbonate roofing to create a semi-enclosed space that is protected from rain and strong winds. As an extension of the living space, the courtyard can be used year-round. In summer it is shaded and catches cooling sea breezes. In winter, it can be closed up and by stoking up the wood fire, you can create a warm space that still has beautiful diffused natural light.
The home is designed to work with the environment and climate in a number of ways. In the living room the roof is raked towards the east, allowing the morning sun to deep into the home and helping to warm the concrete floors in cooler months. The bedroom wing has horizontal louvres on the north and south, while vertical fins on the west offer sun protection and privacy.
Inside, materials like hoop pine plywood, hardwood battens, exposed rafters and fibre cement ceilings help to create the feeling of a warm, laid-back beach home.
With a connection to the landscape and the use of humble, honest materials, this home feels at home in its quiet coastal setting. Passive design principles will ensure this home feels comfortable year-round and hard-wearing, low-fuss materials will mean minimal maintenance and a home that will get better with age.
Ground Floor Plan
First Floor Plan