Sorrento, a coastal destination on the Mornington Peninsular, is perhaps the quintessential Australian beach town. With its unspoilt coastline, abundance of wineries and quaint highstreet of colonial properties repurposed as irresistible coffee-spots, Sorrento is a popular holiday destination for Melbourne dwellers, with many owning second properties on the Peninsular.
The abundance of coastal viewpoints and spots of natural beauty make the Mornington Peninsular an increasingly tempting canvas for architects making their mark on the landscape, and indeed, award-winning architectural practise Vibe Design Group is no stranger to the Peninsular. Having previously designed the celebrated Shearwater House in the Mornington Peninsular’s Mount Martha, Vibe Design’s exquisite designs are transforming the Peninsular into an architectural hot-spot, and their latest project in Sorrento is perhaps their most culturally significant yet.
Using a fusion of traditional materials including wood, metal and concrete, the Brisbane-based architecture and design studio has reinterpreted the traditional Australian beach house. Creating a timber and glass property topped with a corrugated metal roof, the look is cool, clean and crisp yet strong enough to weather the extremes of Sorrento’s marine climate. In the words of Vibe Design, this is the Australian Beach House ‘reborn’.
Sorrento House’s facade is a poster-child for streamlined simplicity, with a simple concrete chimney and drainage channels woven into the roof so discreetly they are barely noticeable. The L-shaped building wraps around an open swimming pool that is nestled at the rear of the property, creating a space that looks tightly contained from the front facade but unravels to reveal an open and expansive space.
Most impressive is the fluid use of materials that flow seamless from the exterior to the spacious interior. The concrete-lined entrance is bordered with timber boards that connect without interruption to the warm-toned wooden floorboards that fill the interior, flowing throughout the property and directly out again into the expansive timber decked terrace that surrounds the swimming pool. The concrete exterior too delicately winds its way into the property, lining the living room with a concrete wall that features an open hearth and log store that is both contemporary and character-filled.
A architectural symphony played out by an orchestra of materials, Vibe Design describes Sorrento House as “the synthesis of timber, cast concrete and steel … each material is given a role, an opportunity to shine solo, and contribute in concert”. This idyllic property is no one-hit wonder, we predict this ‘beach house reborn’ will soon be recognised as a timeless classic.