Beaumaris Project - A Holistic Approach Delivers A Healthy Home.


Every now and then you come across clients that request something special. Having built many years ago the owners have some idea of whats in store but this time the brief sets out to not only acquire a new home but one that serves as a sanctuary, promoting well-being from the moment you arrive. What has been created is a home that harks back to post war modernism & the ‘Case Study House’ program from the West Coast of the USA. Reflecting a time where homes were created to encourage simple beauty and not clad in fancy materials for the sake of something different. We can all relate to that noticeable smell that comes off a new car or fresh paint, these air pollutants are referred to as VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and are in fact unhealthy chemicals. This building project stems from an uncompromising Eco attitude and consciously intends to reduce or eliminate VOC levels so we can all breathe easy. Challenging most existing standards in Australia with its approach and method, this home echoes sustainable living, adopting green building ideas as a source of inspiration from across the globe.

The ‘Beaumaris Project’ is best described a passive single-level home that delivers a kind-of organic space, calming by nature, efficient in every way and visually connected while respecting individual space for further privacy. This unique C-shaped footprint engulfs outdoor space as a source of serenity, blurring the line between outdoor and indoor as it delivers a chic resort-feel. The solitude created in this urban getaway is intentional, it stems from exact planning and allows you to cocoon yourself, privacy means you are unaware of neighbors other than enjoying tree vistas from surrounds, at the same time it easily morphs into an all-round entertainer. Wanting to design a passive and thoughtful home, the owners engaged a designer and builder with a vision to build something individual and pure. Not interested in following trends, this project is about creating something that is the right fit for their family based on life principles and a preference for natural products. Being an avant-garde home, intrinsically it shows respect for its surrounds, green-building practice, an uncompromising Eco attitude, careful selection of building material and respect for the environment. Neighbouring properties will also be considered and respected, right from the demolition phase and throughout the entire project, for example: recycling, dedicated exclusion zones for several tasks to reduce the spread of nuisance dust normally imposed upon others during construction, paint waste management and recycling are also in place to better preserve the soil and surrounds from chemical run-off and damage, which protects future gardens. 'Future-proofing' for climate change and extreme weather conditions means that the home features inclusions that will support these easily. Some things are obvious to the design, others are a little more hidden, such as twin layered insulation made from recycled Australian wool which is home grown, naturally better and fibreglass-free.

Respect for time honoured traditions are what the clients desired in this project, genuine timber crafted by hand replaces MDF, locally sourced and Australian made materials take preference here and  less automation instead of more will give a greater sense of control and save energy. The construction aims to improve the indoor & outdoor environment by behaving more passively thereby relying less on heating and cooling. Commercial grade doors and windows with thermally broken low E-glass contribute to saving energy and when required the VRV air-conditioning system will maintain a comfortable temperature and actually improve air quality, a system usually seen only in commercial buildings and hospitals. Tranquil gardens of evergreens delicately frame natural bluestone and invite you inward, without realising you have stepped up almost 500mm from the gate to a polished glass front door. The entry space exposes a 6 metre wall of glass, reflecting a living pond and pretty soon you realise you have arrived somewhere truly special, an environment skilfully man-made yet completely in sync with nature. This definitive central entry offers two choices, to the left you will find the main living area and the hub of the home, and to the right a separate and more private area of the home incorporating a row of bedrooms.

Full-height glass panels flank and define the entire interior walls of the home in a C-style formation and blur the distinction between outdoors and indoors inviting fluid entertaining  with a central alfresco area, complete with big outdoor TV screen. Deep eaves further protect the internal space from harsh summer sun and a central pavilion-style roof highlights the outdoor living, this roof links and caps off this space in contemporary form . Bedrooms along this side of the home display generous proportions and incorporate internal louvre windows for improved air flow and provide connectivity with the entire home. A secret den divides the bedrooms and this area was a special request adding a touch of mystery and magic for younger members of the family. A consistent thread and an abundance of glass and timber links all rooms means you can observe and interact with the main body of the home. Vast living space and a commercial style kitchen is defined by the warmth of home-grown Black-butt timber floors sealed with a non-toxic water-based product as opposed to the regular smelly poly euro. Customised joinery throughout the home also embraces the system of non-toxic 2pac finishes for cabinets and European made E-zero board was ordered in to provide the framework.

An open plan study overlooks the living pond and leads to the Master bedroom which  dominates this end of the layout with luxury ensuite and dressing room. An Eco carpet reflects the mood here and is impressive underfoot, produced locally and sustainably from corn sugar. Behind the Kitchen and the Powder room sits an open walk-in pantry which has been fitted out with a double fridge, large amounts of storage and cafe-style mirror. A 3.7 metre white stone kitchen bench is imposing and inviting incorporating bar seating opposite gourmet European oven framed with solid stainless steel benches catering for the home chef. Within the same roofline deliberately offering a slight disconnect, a multi-purpose room adds another dimension adjoining the discrete bbq area. Huge cafe-style billfolds  reveal this progressive multi-purpose room complete with pool vistas, cinema screen and ensuite. Fully-tiled throughout this serves as a wet room for parties and somewhere for the kids to gather and escape from the sun between laps in the pool. With modified security, speakers indoors and out, and gardens designed by Melbourne Flower & Garden Shows 2013 silver award - winner Gursansky Design, arriving home is like arriving to a secluded retreat. The outer hub of the home extends off from the threshold of the main living space via a series of glass doors. Designed for entertaining with ease, spotted gum and bluestone highlight this central courtyard and frame the living pond which can be seen and heard on those long summer evenings and daytime gatherings, protected by the pavilion roofline.

Externally the ‘Beaumaris Project’ will be clad with a combination of materials including locally sourced hardwood and Alucobond.

Sustainable Components :

Orientation for passive solar gain for natural heating in winter.

Raised timber floor (over slab) insulated

Solar hot water

Photovoltaic Solar Electricity 4.5kw System

Hydronic heating system (Panel)

Compact Flouro down light system installed to reduce electricity use throughout home

Rainwater harvested and stored in tanks.

Water treated and used in grey water treatment system within the home.

High-performance woollen thermal insulation.

Double Glazed Aluminium (Thermally Broken) Windows