Surface Deep
Belle Magazine Australia|June - July 2021
Rugged raw finishes deliver a low-maintenance interior with a carefree edge that is tailor-made for a family’s escape from the big smoke.

Any new build shortlisted for an architectural award in 2021 has, arguably, satisfied the most demanding criteria in many years, given how buildings have had to adapt in the COVID era and be far more than a roof over a family’s heads. Melbourne’s Architects EAT, and its co-director Albert Mo, certainly achieved that with this new build at Flinders on the Mornington Peninsula, which has been nominated in the category of Residential Architecture – Houses (New) at the 2021 Victorian Architecture Awards. What was the client’s brief? I’ve known the clients for a while and have designed commercial projects for them, as well as a house in Melbourne. Perhaps because this is their second home with me, they gave me more latitude to experiment. The brief was very simple – a holiday house where they could escape the city; a house that felt like a home yet was different to their primary home. They wanted somewhere they could invite their friends and family, a house to love nature in and where their children could grow up. Also, there were to be no marble benchtops! It was supposed to be rugged, carefree and very low-maintenance. What were the challenges of the site and how did you resolve them? All I could picture at the start was the amazing clifftop location with views to the ocean. That’s what every architect dreams of – then reality hit. The site is located inland, within the village, and is very, very flat, on a corner block with a single row of mature poplar trees along an unsealed side road, which leads to the back beach. The existing house was structurally unsound and hadn’t been occupied for a long while.

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