The St Andrews Beach House by Austin Maynard Architects

A beach house is the perfect excuse to escape the city and relax by the ocean. The team at Austin Maynard Architects have built a circular eco-friendly house that requires a minimum of maintenance so you can just relax. Welcome to the circular St Andrews Beach House!

The St Andrews Beach House by Austin Maynard Architects

Eco-friendly, circular and modern beach house by Austin Maynard Architects

Located about 100 km from Melbourne, Victoria in Australia, the St Andrews Beach house is the perfect weekend getaway. The owner took inspiration from the New Zealand word “bach” which means a very modest, small and basic shack or shed. Instead of building the beach house as a copy of an everyday home, he wanted a simpler and peaceful place. The Eco-friendly, circular and modern design is made with minimum impact on the surrounding area and requires close to no maintenance.

The St Andrews Beach House by Austin Maynard Architects

Modern and eco-friendly beach “Shack”

With less than five meters in radius, the circular beach “shack” is designed with sustainability in mind. Solar panels on the roof provide electricity and a large cylinder concrete water tank collects rainwater to flush toilets and water the garden. Double-glazed windows and robust materials have been chosen to resist the weather on the coastline and minimize the need for maintenance.

The St Andrews Beach House by Austin Maynard Architects

The two-story house has a total of 139 square meters and contains a kitchen, living and dining space, two bathrooms, laundry room, bedroom/sleeping area and walk-in wardrobe. Due to the circular shape, there is no back or front side and instead of attaching a deck or veranda onto the construction, an open deck was created within the tube. When the doors open, the line between in and out disappears and you can fully enjoy the wild and beautiful coastline.

The St Andrews Beach House by Austin Maynard Architects

From a circle in the sand to award-winning architecture

The shape of the house grew from a response to the views and the building takes advantage of the remoteness of the unique site with no neighbours. As a benefit, the views extend in all directions and the open plan creates a simple interior space with circular spares instead of closed corridors.

The St Andrews Beach House by Austin Maynard Architects

Instead of a traditional bedroom layout, the upstairs sleeping area is one bunk room where the beds can be separated with curtains. The solution optimizes space – and should the limitation be beached, guests are invited to set up a tent outside in the sand.

 ground floor comprises of kitchen, living and dining, with a bathroom and a laundry.

Du to the location, construction proved to be difficult due to shifting sands. Deep footings were required to secure the construction and landscaping to retain the existing fauna was done to minimize sand blasting caused by the wind.

Deep footings were required to secure the construction

The St Andrews Beach House is a great example of how architecture can help achieve the ultimate living space in a unique location – without damaging nature. The project won the 2019 Architizer A+ Award with entries from over 100 countries; well done Austin Maynard Architects!

living and dining space

Project specifications:

  • 2019 Architizer A+ Award
  • Location: St Andrews Beach, Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Australia
  • Two-story circular beach house or “bach”
  • Contains: kitchen, living and dining space, two bathrooms, laundry room, bedroom/sleeping area, walk-in wardrobe and open deck area
  • Project team: Andrew Maynard, Mark Austin, Ray Dinh
  • Site area: 8,304 m²
  • House area: 139m² (ground floor 78 m² / first floor 62m²)
  • Completion date: December 2018

Price: Price unknown.

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Photo credit: Derek Swalwell