The natural setting of Curl Curl Beach may be spectacularly beautiful, yet the constant exposure to ocean winds when living on its shore can be surprisingly harsh. Carrington House is for a couple who intend to grow old together by their beloved beach and art collection. For such a task, a house as something of an internal universe seems appropriate; a place where the ocean’s immense presence is selectively allowed to enter and be resisted. A small footprint, sunken into the sand, is linked over four diverse levels with a central stair and lift for immediate connectivity. The volume is wrapped in a tough brick skin that withstands the salt spray and conceals an inner complexity.

A grid of concrete framing defines discrete settings for enjoying life’s daily rituals within a constant ocean backdrop. The front bay is for reading and chatting, a living room that stretches to the horizon through a giant bay window. A courtyard in the third bay lets the interior open to a tranquil walled garden. Adjacent kitchen, dining and circulation areas can spill outdoors even when the winds are blowing. A table for 30 can easily be arranged through the spatial grid when the couple’s family visit for frequent celebrations. A roof terrace provides escape when conditions are calm.

By Toby Breakspear, John Kang, Matthew Argent, 2017-Current.