Adame Kane Architect breathed new life into the Barwon Heads House and transformed it into a unique family home that beautifully complemented the existing cottage made of weather-resistant timber. The architectural firm looked for inspiration in the house's coastal environment. The natural materials chosen were crucial to the environment as well as to ensuring a relaxed sense of permanence for the owners. Thanks to a minimalist design and a play between light and dark, this extraordinary experience will be one for guests and residents alike to enjoy for years to come.
Adam Kane Architects is a Melbourne-based architecture and interior design firm that came into being in 2015. The studio is known for its residential projects in a sober style that is timeless, sophisticated and sustainable. Adam Kane and his team always ensure a thoughtful connection between the architecture, the interior and the landscape. With each design, each space is specifically tailored to the client's unique needs and desires. The new residents (a young couple) of this coastal home had explicitly requested an extension to the existing cottage, giving the architect one large open volume to play with. The existing cottage stands proudly in the front garden, while the extension is at the back surrounded by many natural elements.
The project is located near Bass Strait and the Barwon River Mounth and is surrounded by Moonah beach. The unique experience of the home is partly determined by the extreme weather patterns on the coast. During the construction process of Barwon Heads House, the architect took this environment into account by providing protection from the prevailing south-western weather conditions. Towards the south, the house has a view of the sand dunes and towards the north there is a beautiful more expansive view of the surroundings.
Natural materials and the coastal environment were a great source of inspiration.
Indigenous landscape elements invite you to a meditative journey through the house. All openings face north and a supportive awning has been developed to help heat the floor in winter. While the linear kitchen softens the sunlight and gives a sense of belonging thanks to the windows with deep reveals. This balance of both creates a monolithic feel and anchors the building to the site, reinforcing the composition of all the composite elements.
The architect chose a striking palette of colours and shapes. The interior is characterised by a minimalist design with matte black and reflective walls and ceilings in the transition area to create a sense of enclosure. But this feeling is then opened up thanks to a vast six-metre high ceiling. The bold lines on the ceiling and the playfulness of the triangular coffee tables then reinforce the vastness and grandeur of the interiors. The whole still exudes a certain simplicity, though. The project manages to perfectly highlight austerity so that it still feels warm. The philosophies behind Barwon Heads House are an expression of the core idea behind Adam Kane Architects. The minimalist family home embodies the sensibilities of each space, a beautiful alternation between light and darkness, the power of thoughtful design and an established focus on natural materials. The end result is both a place to stay for a long time and to recharge in a natural environment. In short: Barwon Heads House is the most idyllic place to relax.
Photography by Timothy Kaye