Articles / New homes

Yellow birch ply walls feature in contemporary new house by the beach

Want to know more?

Contact us

Modern house with beach aesthetic, with birch plywood walls and cabinets, pavilion-style master suite and contemporary bathroom

Yellow birch ply walls feature in contemporary new house by the beach Discover this article's resources 0


Just as a holiday home will often reflect its location, so was this new house designed to maximise a beachside setting.

Architect Pat de Pont of Strachan Group Architects (SGA), who worked on the project with architect-owner Rachael Rush, says the use of simple, pared-back materials enhances the beach aesthetic.

"The walls throughout the house are lined with yellow birch ply that has been very finely crafted" he says. "Similarly, the built-in furniture is in birch."

To capture the best views, the master suite is positioned on the first floor, beneath a high gabled roof.

"The suite was based on the concept of a pavilion – a single soaring ceiling floats above the entire suite, and the bedroom and bathroom are fitted out like pieces of furniture that sit within this space. To maintain this sense of a pavilion, the wall that separates the bedroom from the bathroom has a large triangle of glazing at the top, so the ceiling plane runs right through."


In the bathroom, the ply on the walls is contrasted by dark basalt floors, a matching vanity top and white fixtures, which include a freestanding bath.

"The handbasins are also individual elements. Each basin is literally a bowl on a bench – a vessel placed within the space."

Large adjustable louvres can be used to control the angle of the sun and to provide privacy from the street.

"Glazed doors in front of the louvres can be opened, effectively creating an outdoor bathroom. In the bedroom also, there is a large Shugg window. The top of the window drops down to form a balustrade, so the bedroom becomes a verandah. Here, the exterior louvres are placed at 90° so they control the sun but don't block the view to the sea."

The family bathroom has its own direct connection with the outdoors – it opens to a courtyard. Even the timber decking-style flooring blurs the line between inside and out. Exposed concrete walls and a slatted timber bench for the handbasin reinforce the seaside home aesthetic.

"This bathroom is designed so the family can come straight in from the beach and shower off the salt and sand before entering the rest of the house," says the architect. "There is also an outdoor shower that serves a similar purpose."

First published date: 15 July 2015

More news from Trends

Credit List

Architect Strachan Group Architects (SGA) with Rachael Rush; project team – Dave Strachan, Pat de Pont, Jessica Knight, Rachael Rush
Builder Bonham Builders & Management
Vanity cabinetry Birch Elite ply by Wackrows Joinery
Hardware Blum hinges; Madinoz handles
Vanity tops Black basalt slab from Artedomus
Bathtub Victoria + Albert Barcelona
Basins Apaiser Globe Vessel in Starry Night
Taps Gessi freestanding bath mixer; Dornbracht Meta on basins
Shower stall Custom by SGA with black anodised aluminium and slatted duckboard over aluminium tray
Shower fittings Hansgrohe Axor Stack
Toilets Duravit Darling New with Tropea cisterns
Flooring Honed black basalt
Lighting Inlite @@@ Story by Colleen Hawkes ***