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Totally tubular vacation home hits the beach

By Adam Williams / New Atlas – Architecture / 2 February 2019

Images: St Andrews Beach House, by Austin Maynard Architects, captures rainwater and stores it for irrigation and flushing the toilets (Credit: Derek Swalwell)

St Andrews Beach House is nestled among the bush and dunes on a rugged stretch of shore in Australia’s Mornington Peninsula. The circular vacation home is finished to a high standard and boasts a degree of sustainable design, including rainwater collection.

St Andrews Beach House (not to be confused with the award-winning homeof the same name in the same area) was designed by Austin Maynard Architects. The firm was commissioned by a client with a nice piece of land near the shore who wanted something simple and shack-like.

“Australians have some of the biggest houses in the world and holiday houses are increasingly becoming carbon copies of the suburban home,” says Austin Maynard Architects. “The owner of St Andrews Beach House recognized this. He challenged us to design him a ‘bach’ – a New Zealand word used to describe a very modest, small and basic shack, or shed.”

The beach house has a radius of under 5 m (16 ft) and is predominantly built from timber, which looks really nice both inside and out, and measures 139 sq m (1,496 sq ft), spread over two floors. Large bifold doors open up the interior to a sheltered porch area.

With its circular form, it makes sense that an open interior layout was adopted and the ground floor consists of a kitchen, living and dining space, as well as a bathroom and a laundry area. A spiral staircase is placed in the center and leads upstairs to another bathroom and the bedroom area.

This is essentially one large space that’s divided by curtains and can double up as a second living or games room if there are no guests over. If space does run out, guests are invited to simply pitch a tent outside.

Solar panels are installed on the roof and a large cylindrical concrete water tank collects rainwater, which is used to flush the toilets and water the garden. The site was carefully landscaped to ensure existing the greenery would minimize sand blasting caused by wind, though won’t prevent its natural aging.

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