Barwon Heads House

Barwon Heads, Victoria, Australia
Adam Kane Architects
Timothy Kaye

Sheets of white curtains flutter against the glass panels, bringing in the quiet air of Barwon Heads and giving peeks of the coastal sun rays. The opaque light shines onto gleaming stone surfaces, reflecting geometric corners of the cottage home. A strip of horizontal opening paints a landscape of oceanic canopies and illuminates the contrasting interior of Barwon Heads House.

Designed by Adam Kane Architects, the renovation intakes an airy presence and a minimal appearance. Retaining the corrugated slanted roof and the symmetrical facades, the designers coat them with a deep black glaze to distinguish the dwelling for a bold cover. The playful intersections of horizontal and vertical lines create a textural depth, withholding a surprisingly sophisticated space on the inside.

The interior of Barwon Heads House is accented with a large atrium, continuously linking the entrance, dining zone, and living room. Upon entering, the corridor is lined with thin black panels to cleverly hide shelving units while forming a matrix of lines like a monochromatic Piet Mondrian painting. Furthering into the open plan, the space elongates and expands in height. Lined with light timber, the sloping ceilings meet at a pristine gap where a trench of light cascades down onto the area below.

Imprinted with geological patterns, the dining zone elegantly bounces off light from its glossed marble surfaces on the dining table and the expansive kitchen. Two cylindrical chimneys extend to the outside, acting both as a functional device and a decorative element revisiting the cottage’s past. The charcoal floor complements wooden chairs and metal fixtures in black, mediating between the materials’ heaviness and the fluctuating effect of light.

The nave ends with the living room, a simple composition of linear wooden cabinets superimposed onto a triangular figure. A large sofa softens up the design’s strict geometry, resting on top of an undulating carpet texture. At its finish the private courtyard becomes a part of the built space, joining the inner and outer characteristics for a balanced spatial marriage.

In the shop