Kennedy Nolan

“Always”, the name of this house at Flinders, is a weekender and a summer house which will become a more permanent residence in time. The brief required an unmediated experience of the spectacular coastal landscape but also a calm and peace-filled refuge.

The original house on the site was a radically altered Chancellor and Patrick house on a highly unstable cliff edge. Attempts to preserve and restore the house were thwarted by the structural necessity to place it on 15 metre deep piles, without which, the house was in real danger of sliding onto the beach. This original house is “remembered” by largely reconstructing its form and arrangement, augmented by a perpendicular element which provided additional accommodation and solved the problems of vehicular and pedestrian access. A single bedroom and bathroom guesthouse higher up the site completed the work.

The relationship of house with landscape is key to the aspect of the design approach. The garden, devised in conjunction with Amanda Oliver, will ultimately surround, conceal and spill over the Coldstream stone retaining walls and edges of the planted rooftop to largely obscure the presence of the built form. From the beach side, regenerative dune plantings will in time rise up to meet textured planes of weathered timber and Coldstream stone with deep-recessed glazing concealed in profound shadow. The aspects are to a house in an idealised nature rather than something wholly natural, the emphasis on recessive inhabitation in subordinate balance to a healthy habitat.

Sustainable considerations for this house were founded on the basis that quality materials and a highly serviced, energy efficient building is ultimately justifiable given the longevity of the fabric and the low running costs of the building.


Furniture: Kezu, Loom Rugs, Hub Furniture, Mark Tuckey, Criteria Collection, Jardan, Angelucci. Lighting: Space Furniture, In Good Company, Society Inc. Finishes: Signorino, RMS. Fittings & Fixtures: Vola, Duravit.


Photography: Derek Swalwell.