Martha is a four bedroom beach-side family retreat perched on a steep hill in a quiet pocket of the Mornington Peninsular region. The dwelling is robust and designed to withstand the challenges that exist in coastal environments, however is offset by the expression of finely considered detail and proportion to promote a sense of lightness and warmth.

Martha / ola studio
© Manos Mavridis

Providing protection from the extreme weather conditions of its seaside location, windows are concealed behind operable timber shutters and screens to ensure the spaces are usable year-round. When open, the shutters may also be manipulated to create framed views, intimate outlooks, and playful splays of internal sunlight.

Martha / ola studio
© Manos Mavridis

The single storey dwelling extends south west towards the bay to take advantage of expansive unobstructed views across the Peninsula. By appropriating the sloped site as such, the building emerges from the landscape to give the appearance it is effortlessly floating above the ground, allowing the house to engage with the site in both form and materiality. The application of natural Australian timber hardwoods for the external cladding reference the colours of the surrounding landscape and help the building to immerse itself as an integral extension of the site.

Martha / ola studio
© Manos Mavridis
Martha / ola studio
© Manos Mavridis

The planning arrangement of the house is divided into three primary zones consisting of the parent’s retreat, the kid’s/guest area, and a primary open plan living space and kitchen area which are all directed toward the coast line. This promotes a variety of open and intimate spaces that maximise solar access and the excellent views to the south.

Project Details:

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Area: 176 sqm
Architects: Ola Studio
Photographs: Manos Mavridis

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Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
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