DGK Architects - innovative architecture

Cottesloe Beach House


Cottesloe, WA






A narrative of romanticised coastal embodiment – aged, fragmented, reclaimed and pieced together. A contest of tectonic quality and form celebrating the assemblage of raw and robust materiality – an interplay between contemporary construction and enduring architecture.

Step into a romance novella, embellished to enhance the most opulent waterfront life. This home design is a poignantly penned masterpiece, offering a getaway to an oceanic oasis. Pieced together seamlessly, this home strings together eclectic design concepts into one holistic coastal beach home.

The main concept of this home was based on a romanticised coastal narrative, which saw to create the impression of a boat shed type vernacular to the front elevation and a historic marine warehouse to its central courtyard. This motif created a dynamic interplay between the contemporary architecture, entwining itself between these two 'heritage' type mediums.

First was the curved roof, an abstract adaptation of a rowing boat leaning against a wooden boatshed. The form of the curved roof created an opportunity to further accentuate this boat type quality to the interior space, whilst also allowing for highlight louvred windows above the house's main structure. This enabled westerly sea breezes to enter along the curve of the ceiling and help to ventilate the building. The addition of exposed beams and steel framed doors/windows strengthens the industrial motif.

The second was the courtyard of the house, based off the old industrial, marine boatyards, with exposed brickwork and small square glazed panels. Over the generations, they were often patched and repaired with different glass panels. This was represented by additional coloured glazing and transparency variance. To preserve this brick structure as a ‘heritage component’ to the building, the interconnecting gallery bridge was offset from the structure, preserving it as a museum piece for viewing rather than to touch.

The robust materiality palette expressed throughout the home - exposed concrete walls/floors, recycled bricks, aged timber, rusted metal, steel beams, glass blocks and antique finishes were cleverly and intricately detailed to magnify the celebration of assemblage but also demonstrating order within their chaotic arrangement. Negative shadow lighting throughout the house allowed for soft gentle washes of light to create not only a more intimate atmosphere but also to highlight the unique characteristics of each individual material, much like a museum exhibit.

A further embellishment to the home was creating the front fence from recycled iron wood timber from various heritage buildings, to resemble broken jetties often seen scatted across the coastline. This home bridges the understanding of time, place and space and binds the built fabric to its setting.

  • LOCATION : Cottesloe, WA
  • LOT AREA : 300m²
  • ZONING : R50
  • LEVELS :