In Progress

Barwon Modern

Project Description

Story has it that due to the shortage of building materials after the war, a lot of this existing mint green mid-century number was built thanks to the original owner-builder bartering rations of flour for timber and “fibro”. We embrace colour, stories and eclecticism in our work, so we were delighted when our clients requested us to lightly place a bungalow out back of their well loved beach house, in the dreamy coastal hamlet of Barwon Heads. A place of many memories for our clients, one of whom escaped to this town for countless summers since childhood, we were tasked with ensuring the new bungalow provided a snug part-time home for their adult children, pooches (and future grandchildren!) to the east of the existing home.


With only enough space to sleep, wash and cosily congregate, a naturally lit passage offers a gentle transition between these spaces, along the north-south slope of the site. The bungalow aims to celebrate what it looks at, rather than what is looking at it, with the form, shape and muted external materials providing a canvas for the dynamic landscape design incorporating diverse Indigenous plant species, by STEM. Vignettes to the new pool, existing home and garden studded with stone endemic to Wathaurong Country, are framed by our two-pavilion design. Blockwork sets the upper pavilion into the ground to the north, whilst lightweight “fibro” allows the lower pavilion to touch down lightly to the south. The bungalow integrates various passive design principles allowing for optimum thermal, energy and building material efficiency across all seasons. We thank Henrik from +&+ for his sound intellectual (and moral!) support in achieving these initiatives.


The bungalow works hard to achieve all of the above but our client always reminded us to have fun. The ranging colours and textures of the existing interiors, a patchwork of original and upgraded rooms, highly informed our warm and multifarious choices for the intimate spaces within the new addition.

Completion Date

In Progress

Country / Location

Wathaurong / Barwon Heads VIC



Project Team

Nikhila Madabhushi

Jemma Cooper

Robert Lees


STEM Landscape Architecture & Design

+&+ Architecture (Passive House consultant)

Artistic Render

Robert Lees




1. Bedroom
2. Mud/store
3. Bathroom
4. WC
5. Sunroom
6. Studio
7. Pool House
8. Garden
9. Existing Dwelling
10. Pool
11. Spa