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The Anglesea Beach House

This beach house in Victoria’s Anglesea returns to the roots of the beach shack.

We don’t like to play favourites on habitusliving.com, but Andrew Maynard Architects continue to impress us. This time it’s a fantastic beach house renovation in Anglesea, Victoria, that’s grabbed our attention.

The home is a transformation of an existing beach house and represents Andrew’s philosophy that beach houses should remain true to their ‘shack’ roots, rather than being a relocated “McMansion” from the ‘burbs.


“More frequently holiday homes are becoming little more than transplanted suburban ugliness,” Andrew says, “the great Australian tradition of the ‘shack’ is in danger of being superseded by bloated mansions with four bathrooms and all the trappings of modern life.”

For this, rather flash-looking, beach shack Maynard was given the option of starting from scratch or using the existing structure.

“It’s always tempting to start from scratch, on a blank canvas with a larger budget. However the ethical response is to reuse as much of the old structure as possible,” he explains.



“The new elements act as bookends to the old house thematically and structurally. The new structures are rigid steel frames that brace the original house, which was constructed from green timber, which has warped and moved as it has dried over the years.”


The house consists of a series of timber boxes “nestled around the existing house”. These boxes are clad in spotted gum, and provide zones for living, including indoor/outdoor rooms.

The new first floor deck has created ‘play spaces’ beneath. Brightly coloured walls create drama, contrasting with the white exterior of the old house and providing a sense that this is not a rigid, formal home, but one for play and relaxation – a true beach house.




Versatility of spaces is at the core of the AMA philosophy, so it’s no surprise that the red room on the ground floor can be used for anything from a playroom and casual living space to a private bedroom.

We feel a real connection with Andrew’s approach to this house, and while something this impressive may not be within reach of us all, there are certainly elements we could transfer our own little beach shack, should the opportunity arise.


Andrew’s top 7 tips for renovating or building a new beach house:

1.    Remember why you want a beach home.

2.    Remember what it was like to go to a beach home when you were a child.

3.    Don’t build a ‘McMansion’. Don’t build a second home with lots of gadgets. Build a shack.

4.    Build something that connects you with landscape.

5.    Build something authentic.

6.    Be truthful to the materials you use.

7.    Make your beach home the antithesis of your Monday to Friday home. Too many people expect the same luxuries as their Mon – Fri home. This is a mistake. Don’t create a facsimile. Allow your beach home to be a very different experience from your home, otherwise you’re not escaping your weekly routine.


Andrew Maynard Architects

Photography by Peter Bennetts


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Why not tell us what you look for in a beach house. Do you agree with Andrew’s philosophy? Tell us below.

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