Architecture + Interior Design

Outside In House

Outside In House

By Kate Cole

Owners Gavin and Linzi wanted a modern beach house with neutral colour tones softened by weathered timbers; a simple enough brief.

Their further specifications, of achieving a spacious feel in a single storey home with four bedrooms, two sitting rooms, an open plan living area, and a pool on a 480 square metre plot was more of a challenge for Arclab.

The aim of designers Andrew Croft and Lachlan Dear was to retain the form of the existing cottage and project the roof lines from it to create dynamic, varied ceiling lines. These roof projections soften the impact to the street, and the stone feature walls near the entrance integrate the home with the natural features of the block.


1 Avalon


The small seaside plot in Avalon enjoys an abundance of natural light, lending itself to the atmosphere the clients wanted to create. The kitchen and outdoor entertaining spaces on the North and West of the block are filled with natural light for most of the day and are separated from the private areas set on the Eastern side of the block. This type of layout is a signature for Arclab.


5 Avalon


6 Avalon


The purposely oversized central corridor and Newport stone blade wall are used to invite visitor from the outside in, and to open the interior to the outdoors. This corridor bypasses the private quarters of the house and draws natural light into the house’s centre, giving on expansive, luminous feel to the small home. The owners love to entertain, so it was essential to create a family home that transforms into a ‘beach club’, the impression of which is complimented by natural American Oak flooring from Beachwood and furniture from Coco Republic.

The clean, modern style of the custom built kitchen was directed by Linzi’s concept long before building began. The beams, steel frame and air conditioning ducts are left exposed, and not only add an industrial edge but also reflect natural light and create a further illusion of space. In terms of space management, the functional parts of the house, the laundry and home office, are positioned in flexible space that can be hidden or easily accessed via French blinds and sliding doors.


3 Avalon


One of the most ingenious parts of the design is the passive management of temperature. The reverse brick veneer wall is used to absorb heat in the summer and provide warmth in the winter. The dropped ceiling retains warmth during the cooler months and the louver windows let heat escape in the summer.

Arclab describes the house as “bright and energizing yet intimate and serene”. Croft says of the experience, “It is such a pleasure to work with clients who are looking for something a little bit different. Inspiring briefs and tight budgets seems to be in vogue these days so the ability to meet this demand is an essential skill set for the residential designer”.


4 Avalon


The builders of the Outside In House, JRFS Construction, said that Croft, “gets to the heart of the style that his clients want, transforming their broad ideas into beautiful structures”.

Outside In House is definitely a home rather than simply a house, and the generous deck over the front garden serves as a viewing platform for the annual ‘Clark Griswold’ Christmas lights that draw locals to their street.


Photography by Luke Butterly. Read more about his work here.