Resisting the Temptation to Simply Demolish and Replace
Retaining A Piece of Great Ocean Road’s Collective Cultural Memory
The Dorman house is a beautiful addition and renovation to an old beach shack on Victoria’s Great Ocean Road in Lorne. Its design principle was driven by a seemingly straightforward request from owners Kate and Grant, “how could we add a clear and elevated view of the ocean without demolishing, damaging or dominating our beloved shack?”
“It’s a simple brief, but inherently problematic. Solutions can easily become expensive and complicated. After stumbling through the complexities many people choose to demolish their shack and start again. It is an economic decision that many shack owners make, at the expensive of local and family heritage.”
Austin Maynard Architects’ solution was an elevated timber extension, independently constructed to lightly suspend over the old house, and carefully set within the ridge-line to avoid dominating the original shack.
The elevated extension sits on top of a heavy timber structure and comprises a kitchen, dining and living room, accessed via a spiral staircase. Polycarbonate was used as a lightweight cladding to infill the structure below, creating a useable space without adding (excessive) mass. The original beach shack remains mostly unchanged. It was tidied up and repainted, so that the charm and character of the post war shack was retained.
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