House that challenges the typical expectations of a renovated home

House that challenges the typical expectations of a renovated home

Architects: Seeley Architects
Location: Lorne, Australia
Year: 2015
Photo courtesy: Peter Hyatt

“Built high on the amphitheatre surrounding Louttit Bay, the Louttit house challenges the typical expectations of a renovated home with bold, yet sensitive addition the Lorne streetscape. A prosaic suburban brick house has been transformed to accommodate an extended family, while presenting as a modest sized house.

Inspired by early “fibro beach shacks” and the beautiful Otway Ranges, fibre cement sheeting and Spotted Gum timbers are evident throughout the interior. Externally, the weathering steel roof shedding water into a generous pebble lined trench when it rains.

Upon entry one is greeted by a long timber clad ‘box’ appearing to be inserted into the dwelling through both levels. Revealed mostly as wet areas within, it also hides an “Alice in wonderland” door to a mattress floored Nook for kids to nap or play “fortress”. The lower level is a dedicated “kids space” (for big kids too), featuring a generous rumpus room, a spa deck and two bedrooms.


The upper or entry level is thermally zoned, with a suspended fireplace partitioning the living and dining areas. From these rooms, spectacular views of the meandering Great Ocean coastline are realized. It’s no wonder that everyone wants to stay at the Louttit house.

Our clients, a recently retired couple were recommended to us and approached with an open brief to renovate a very urban brick dwelling into a holiday retreat to better capture the coastal views and to provide a higher standard of accommodation for their family

Through a fluid, open and trusting design process, we delivered a design that transformed the house, with a result that greatly exceeded their expectations.

The design of the Louttit house is zoned by over two levels to accommodate three generations. At the upper level, an air locked zone accommodates an open planned kitchen and living area with two bedroom suites each with generous Ensuites. The lower level includes two bedrooms; wet areas, a garage, games room and Nook that is covered in mattresses for the grand kids.

Working within the existing shell and by opening up the north facade with large sliding doors capped by a generous skillion roof, the improved spatial qualities and detailing has lead to considerably improved home, better solar orientation and cross ventilation.
An air lock strategically placed at the Entry to the house protects the interior from the effects of winter winds, reducing heating costs.

Sustainably sourced Citriodora maculata was been used extensively as the internal floors and linings. Like the bricks from the original house, these timbers can be readily recycled at the end of the dwellings life.

Externally, the prosaic face bricks were roughly rendered and a straw broom run through the wet mortar, creating a pattern akin to that left on the sand by children dragging a tree branch along.

The Corten clad roof completes the renovation, reflective of but not succumbing to the effects of the nearby corrosive effects of the southern ocean.
A considered landscape design encompassing stone filled gabion walls and native trees, contributes to the textural palate thoughtfully reflective of the Otway’s landscape.

The Louttit house provides a fresh perspective in repurposing an existing , but inappropriate house, transforming it into a contextual, sustainable home that we expect will be enjoyed by many future generations.”

Thank you for reading this article!




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