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Winner 2013 AIA Hayes & Scott Award for Small Architecture

Conceptual framework:

 Taking the concept of the typological fibro beach house to new levels, Re-Newell in concept is a big living room which literally stretches into the horizon over the sea. The project attempts to expand on our previous work into possibilities of flexible and open ways of living in the tropics.


Public and Cultural Benefits:

 A new tropical beach house prototype and rethink on the possibilities of adaptive re-use in coastal suburban settings.


Relationship of Built Form to Context:

 The project presents an enigma: the original beach cottage has been left completely intact with its street frontage faithfully restored. The functional plan has been re-configured internally and the only small addition to this house comprises a new kitchen and large outdoor decking areas to provide for a contemporary resort style living room to the beach.  The house presents entirely differently as new vs. old depending on your arrival whether it be from the beach or the street frontage.


Program Resolution:

 The client’s requirements for alterations & additions to the original cottage were for a very flexible & low maintenance beach house for the holiday rental market that would easily cater to large extended families. The new design comprises two master suites with WIR & ensuite, two large kid’s bedrooms, large shared bathroom, laundry, rumpus area, new kitchen and numerous large open living & dining areas both indoor and out with breakout decks onto the pool and down to the beach.


Integration of Allied Disciplines:

 In all of our work, we strive for innovation and new solutions to the problems of living with climate change in the 21st Century. Integration of Allied Disciplines was critical to the successful delivery of our vision for the project, in particular the hydraulic & structural engineering which not only facilitated the advanced sustainability initiatives but also the practical requirements for withstanding annual cyclonic weather events. 


Cost/Value Outcome:

 The project budget was carefully managed from the outset, so as not to over-capitalize on the investment property and yield a positive rental return. The project was completed and delivered in accordance with the client’s tight budget requirements.



 Adaptive re-use was the modus operandi for the project, as we managed to utilise the entire original structure and the actual built addition component is relatively small. We utilised low energy LED fittings throughout along with low water usage plumbing fixtures. The open plan configuration naturally promotes mixed mode operation with regard to cross-flow ventilation vs. use of air-conditioning. Another sustainability component was the installation of an advanced tertiary on-site waste water system.


Response to Client and User needs:

 In our initial discussions with the client, they said they thought the project was basically “just to add a new kitchen and a deck”. We added the kitchen and a very big deck, in doing so completely transforming and reconfiguring the existing structure to produce a potential prototype for a tropical beach house.   

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