An Australian Beach House that Echoes Sydney’s Opera House
Architecture & Interiors
“I spent a year of weekends drawing the Opera House and realized that the continuity and rhythm of the podium is what makes the sails float and dance…The same strategy is used in this house,” explains Australian architect Alexander Symes, who, along G+V Architecture, conceived of this jaw-dropper of a home on the southern coast of Australia. Austinmer Beach House, named for the suburb in which it resides, stands tall, elevated on massive concrete columns to take full advantage of the seascape to the east and the mountains to the west.
Symes, who cites both Denmark’s Jørn Utzon and Sweden’s Sigurd Lewerentz as architectural influences, has clearly expressed those influences in a liberal use of timber, both inside and out; an exacting emphasis on craftsmanship and eco sensitivity; and, most dramatically, in the sweeping curves that define the house’s main volume—a nod to Utzon’s masterwork (see our recent piece on the Sydney Opera House here). Already feted with awards and accolades, Austinmer Beach House is, nevertheless, described by Symes as, “just a beach house.” And, in so doing, he may very well have redefined the word ‘just.’