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Circular beach house is a study in modest luxury

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A new take on the modern beach shack

Round beach house Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects

When designing a beach house, the practical thing to do is build it with a view of the water. Unless, of course, you can build it with views of everything else, too.

This beach house on Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia, has 360-degree views of its oceanside surroundings thanks to a rounded shape. Designed by Austin Maynard Architects, the St. Andrews Beach House is a compact circle built from ash wood with multiple lookout points.

Black spiral staircase Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects
Circular home with wood beam ceiling Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects

The home’s owner challenged the architects to design a modest but modern holiday beach home on a rugged patch of beach. Measuring just 16 feet in radius, the 1,400-square-foot house upends the default belief that a home needs hallways, corridors, and private space. ”Corridors and circulation space are, in our view, a waste,” the architects say. “A corridor-free home lends itself to a circular design.”

What does living in a circular design feel like? In this house, it’s all about communal space. The beach home’s kitchen spirals into a dining area that flows into a living room space. A spiral staircase leads to a sleeping loft, where, in true communal living style, a sleeping loft is split into two bedrooms by a simple curtain.

Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects
Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects
Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects
Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects
Bedroom with bunk beds Photo by Derek Swalwell/Andrew Maynard Architects