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Ocean Drive, Port Fairy


The beachfront site for this project is highly exposed, facing directly towards the Southern Ocean. Rather than applying a generic type of ‘coastal architecture’ the design responds directly to the rugged qualities of the site, with the robust, boxy form and the deep window reveals creating a sense of fortification against the harsh elements.


The building was designed as a home for a retired couple, one of whom had limited mobility. The shape of the house inverts the profile prescribed by the Shire’s Local Character Guidelines, achieving an articulated façade by means of a cantilevered upper floor that extends well beyond the ground floor footprint. This strategy has several benefits: it places all of the main living spaces on a single accessible level with access via a lift; those everyday living spaces enjoy the best views; and it minimises the potential impact of storm surge flooding.


Privacy for the inhabitants was also an important consideration given the prominent nature of its location. The careful placement of windows allows the occupants to enjoy selective views without feeling that they are constantly ‘on show’ to passers-by.


And why yellow? The simple reason is that the old family house that was demolished to make way for the new one was also yellow and the client had a sentimental attachment to it. We think the result creates an intriguing ambiguity between the serious, tough form and this playful, seaside colour.

Project Team:
Architects: Daniel Cooper, Bianca Scaife & Narelle Huggins.
Structural Engineer: Lowe Consulting Engineers.
Builder: J & R Hatherell.
Photographer: Pat Cameron.

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