Beach house successfully marries heritage values with eco-friendly design

Located south of Perth in the city of Mandurah, Falcon Beach has long been home to robust, yet humble beach houses. In the 1950s and 60s, these types of dwellings sprung up all along this part of the Western Australian Coast.

Falcon Beach House, which won Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects the ‘Residential Buildings’ prize at the recent Lysaght Inspirations Design Awards, draws on this fading heritage while also paying careful consideration to the location.

Challenging the all too familiar approach of destroying the native landscape, the house hovers above the ground on a series of cranked steel columns and brick piers.

Purposely neutral, the upper level of the house is clad in LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® corrugated cladding in COLORBOND® Ultra steel in the colour Surfmist®. As the name suggests, this clean colour matches nicely with the ever-present white sand, sea spray, and sunshine.

The lower level, in contrast, presents more as a black shadow. Covered in native plant species from the adjoining sand dunes and scattered with habitable limestone rocks, it is a place of discovery and adventure.

According to the architects, their client wanted a house that was capable of fluctuating between active family gatherings and the solitude of a second house away from their main residence.

With the assistance of builders, Hugo Homes, the architects came up with a place of contemplation that can transform, when necessary, to handle the demands of an extended family, young grandchildren and so on.

Thus, large spaces such as the deck find a balance between the generic and the specific; and allow for multiple ways to inhabit the house. As days progress, various family members can seamlessly move on to their own activities in different parts of the house.

Given its position right on the beach, protection against the elements was an important consideration. The architects chose LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® cladding because they knew it could handle everything that the coastal wind, rain, salt water and sand would throw at it.

Apart from the LYSAGHT CUSTOM ORB® cladding, Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects specified several other LYSAGHT® steel products.

For example, they used Fascia Purlin, an easy-to-use, economical eave purlin and fascia combined. Roll formed from high-tensile Australian-made steel, the product is galvanised for corrosion protection and is therefore ideal for coastal locations.

Similarly, they used LYSAGHT TOPSPAN® 22 and as LYSAGHT TOPSPAN® 40 ceiling battens, which are light-weight yet strong alternatives to timber.

They used LYSAGHT® Quarter Round Guttering, a contemporary product with rounded bottom that provides an improved self-cleaning feature; and LYSAGHT SPANDEK®, simple square-corrugated roofing and walling cladding that is strong, impact resistant and economical.

And finally, they specified LYSAGHT® Zed purlins, which can be used over single spans and in unlapped and lapped continuous spans in multi-bay buildings.

Built with economy, robustness and restraint, Falcon Beach House is a successful modern day homage to the beach house heritage of fifty years ago. It deserves all the accolades it receives and is a worthy Lysaght Inspirations Design Awards winner.