Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia

Shipping Container House

According to Nonda Katsalidis in 1992 “A modern beach house inclusive of vernacular sources which gives contemporary expression to vernacular forms”.

The design is referential to the Australian vernacular tradition and the weight of the early buildings that were cut from the virgin forests and erected as defences against an alien land. The beach house is a fusion of these sentimental vernacular sources with the abstract traditions at the core of modernism.

The planning of the house divide it neatly into two elements. There is the low defensive bedroom wing made from heavy sections of recycled timber with expressed studwork walls giving it a strong external rhythm. The living area is one tall unencumbered space with transparent glass lower section and heavy top clad in Corten steel, a material that picks up the russet tones of the vegetation in the landscape and glows in the reflected light of the setting sun.

These two parts are separated by their pragmatic requirements and their material expression. This separation is further reinforced by splitting it with the rainwater arrangement which spills water over boulders set into the heavy perimeter deck.

The rusted ribbed top section of the house has earnt the house the nickname of the shipping container house from the locals. This house sits right on the foreshore overlooking the beach and surf and is one of the first inspirational houses constructed at St Andrews Beach.

Nonda Katsalidis St Andrews Beach House
Nonda Katsalidis St Andrews Beach House
Nonda Katsalidis St Andrews Beach House
Nonda Katsalidis St Andrews Beach House
Nonda Katsalidis St Andrews Beach House
Nonda Katsalidis St Andrews Beach House