The Local Project – (March 17, 2023) – Located on the Mornington Peninsula, Somers House is a dream home that enjoys close proximity to the beach and the native coastal landscape. Crafted by Kennedy Nolan, the house presents both sustainability and accessibility as a design priority, embodying the concept of a coastal retreat and playing into the experience of the unique Australian biome.
Video timeline: 00:00 – Introduction to the Coastal Retreat 00:37 – The Importance of Accessibility and Sustainability 01:12 – A Weather Responsive Home 01:34 – A Private and Hidden Retreat 01:59 – Abstract and Composed Facade 02:24 – Easy and Hidden Accessibility 02:58 – Amanda Oliver – Long-Term Collaborator 03:38 – The Details and Materials 04:10 – Proud Moments
Responding to its beachfront location, Somers House provides residents with a sense of protection from the strong, salty winds, creating opportunities for them to comfortably watch changing weather roll in from multiple vistas. The design brief detailed a dream home in which architecture and interior design work in unison to embrace the changing seasons, welcoming in the warm weather and sealing off from the cold.
Externally, Somers House engages the imagination of onlookers whilst revealing little of the true nature of its interiority. A large, shallow arch forms a cave into which cars can be parked and the abstract architecture of the dream home enhances the sense of privacy afforded to its residents. The red ochre colour of the exterior is intended to reference the colours of the earth and both grounds the home and allows it stand out among the colours of the surrounding flora.
A house tour of the dream home instantly reveals the ways in which accessibility has been considered. Wheelchair access is ensured across all three levels and the bathrooms are especially designed in order to establish maximum levels of comfort. Sliding doors allow residents access to the fresh coastal air and draw the sound of the sea into the home. Precise detailing solidifies the status of Somers House as a dream home.
The presentation of each fireplace is refined and sophisticated, reflecting the client’s interest in craftmanship. A sustainable material palette of concrete, steel, timber, stone and brass allows for a multi-faceted tactile experience to take place across the home. Representing the complete realisation of an idea, Somers House forms a compelling response to its beachfront location. An accessible coastal retreat, the dream home is a testament to the ability of Kennedy Nolan to be led by both client and site.