James Hardie logo

Ask James Hardie
service & solutions

Family Beach House Renovation

A house by the sea is many Australians’ dream. For two sisters it was also about preserving their family’s heritage.

We chose Linea™ weatherboard because of its appeal as a traditional style of cladding, but also because we knew it was going to be long lasting and durable, something particularly important in that exposed coastal environment.

Project Overview

Modern Makeover at the entrance of Port Philip Bay

Sitting above the entrance to Port Philip Bay in Victoria, where the rough seas of Bass Strait meet calmer waters, is Point Lonsdale, a popular seaside destination for over a century.

Three generations of one family managed this former holiday accommodation site, which drew day-trippers and tourists from Melbourne and beyond.

But the property’s owners –  two retired sisters and their husbands – wanted to close the chapter on holiday rentals and create their perfect retirement home on the site.

When the two sisters’ mother died, they considered a number of options about how to reinvent the property to suit their needs, while still paying homage to its history as a Point Lonsdale landmark.

Modernising a beach house landmark

The sisters’ brief to architect Tom Andrews, from StudioA2,  was to create something that would be the primary residence for themselves and their husbands. The design needed to be “contemporary, sympathetic to the area and something that brought together the coastal aesthetic”.

Since the property’s time in the family, the original single-storey guesthouse had been added to a number of times, creating a mish-mash of styles. The original building’s façade had weathered, and it’s deterioration over the years as a result of being just 50m from the sea, meant knocking it down and rebuilding it in a style that reflected its history, was the most desirable option.

Andrews designed four apartments in one building for the site. Downstairs, two of them would house the sisters and their respective husbands: one larger apartment (3 bed, 2 bath, 2 living) and one smaller (2 beds, 1 bath, 1 living). Upstairs, they wanted one larger apartment (3 bed, 2 bath, 2 living) and one smaller (2 beds, 1 bath, 1 living) that could be used by family or occasionally rented out.

Contemporary heritage makeover

As the property sat on the main street of Point Lonsdale, its redevelopment was subject to considerable community interest. 

“Because it is on the main street, it was very sensitive,” says Andrews. The council raised concerns over the redevelopment’s size and whether it would meet the council’s character objective, which calls for lightweight cladding to reflect a coastal aesthetic.

Beach house beauty

Architect, Tom Andrews, addressed the council’s design concerns by using Scyon Linea™ weatherboard, which reflected the original dwelling’s façade.

“In comparison to many of the more modern buildings in the area, which are rendered or have exposed brick, we chose to go with a weatherboard look, which matched the original building,” says Andrews.

“We chose Linea™ weatherboard because of its appeal as a traditional style of cladding, but also because we knew it was going to be long lasting and durable, something particularly important in that exposed coastal environment,” he says.

In addition, the Linea™ created visual interest in the building, with shadow lines creating textural contrasts at different times of the day.

To match the Linea™ cladding, Andrews used fibre cement Scyon Axent™ Trim, “so the overall appeal of the home had a material palette that was prevalent in older homes in the area”.

“Given the exposed nature of the location, we also chose those materials so they would minimise degrading as much as possible,” says Andrews.

Point Lonsdale Beach House Makeover Fact File

Home Location: Point Lonsdale, Victoria.

Architect: Thomas Andrews, Studio A2.

Builder: David McDonald Builders, Point Lonsdale.

Photographer: Thomas Andrews, Studio A2.

Featured Products: ScyonTM LineaTM weatherboard.

Scyon Products Used