Casa Bobbanarring: An Unconventional Concrete Beach House

Casa Bobbanarring: An Unconventional Concrete Beach House


by Christina Karras

The home’s timber angled garage reveals the owner’s beloved vintage car and steps beside it lead to a private space for storing surfboards.

The timber shutters open the home up to the elements.

Or can remain closed to create a cosy and intimate atmosphere.

Sliding doors allow for indoor-outdoor living.

The pared back interiors allow for the landscape to take precedence.

The curved timber joinery provides seamless storage and makes room for a study nook behind.

It took five years for Branch Studio Architects to bring this spectacular Point Leo build to life.

The owners first approached the practice in 2017 with a brief to create a new concrete family home for themselves and their two teenage children.

‘They were quite fond of the heavily concrete conceived Brazilian modernist architecture from the 1950s and beyond,’ Branch Studio Architects designed director Brad Wray says.

‘Our starting reference for the house was Oscar Niemeyer’s own home, Casa Canoas, given its strong relationship to its site and expressive, flowing concrete canopy which created a seamless transition between inside and outside.’

Brad says the goal was to make the house feel like it was embedded within its native landscape, which he calls one of the Mornington Peninsula’s best coastlines.

This all started with the geometric facade, and the unique additions of the angled garage and a hidden room dedicated to storing the owners’ surfboards — which Brad has dubbed the ‘jewel box’ — nestled onto the side of the house.

Both these elements are designed with a gentle slope, like a hill or a sand dune, and are enveloped with native grasses and shrubs that blend the building into its coastal surrounds. They also provide a sense of joy and drama to the family’s ‘everyday rituals’; the garage unfolds upwards, sliding to reveal the client’s vintage Mustang car; the steps down into the concrete ‘box’ create a private setting where the family can gear up before a surf, or return to after rising off in the nearby outdoor shower.

Inside the house, concrete floors meet formed concrete ceilings, broken up by timber veneer joinery. Playful geometric features like the round skylights, spiral stair case, and a triangular fireplace also add intrigue to the minimalistic interiors. And much like Oscar Niemeyer design that inspired this home, the flat concrete roof almost ‘floats’ out beyond the the floor-to-ceiling glass doors, with a curve that frames the living areas around the swimming pool — and the leafy ‘forest-scape’ just beyond it.

Brad says Casa Bobbanarring puts a local twist on its Brazilian reference, noting the operable native timber shutters across the exterior.

‘I like to think of a good Australian beach house to have a kind of suitcase quality, in the way it can be opened up and transformative when required,’ he adds. ‘At times [the home] can be very open and transparent, and other times it can be quite solid when the shutters are closed.’

Find out more about Branch Studio Architects and their design ethos in their new book ‘Consolidation: Ideas, Process And Spatial Storytelling’.

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