Portsea House

Portsea, Victoria

Hugging the crest of a leafy court, this seaside residence is anchored to its site by a curving earth blade wall, which wraps like a scroll of privacy across the site, balancing the house as it cantilevers dramatically outward. Indigenous landscaping of native foliage frames and filters the view of the building from the street, and the relationship between the natural environment and the built continues as a central theme throughout.

Upon entering through the monolithic blade wall, a grand staircase winds up to an open living space above. A full-height glazed rear facade allows the landscaping beyond to act as internal wallpaper, reinforcing the connection between inside and out. An expansive deck flows from this space and both connects to and floats over the site, utilising the natural rise up to the rear corner of the site. A pool area behind the deck is partially screened by a curved masonry ‘dwarf’ wall, echoing the curve of the building and providing a degree of privacy.

The residence is formed into three distinct wings, arranged around a central open-air atrium. Two of these wings accommodate bedroom and service spaces, while the third and largest wing contains the living spaces and kitchen. A rumpus room at basement level opens onto private courtyard spaces shielded from the street view. 

  • Australian Institute of Architects, Victoria - Portsea House
  • Portsea House
  • Portsea House
  • Portsea House

Portsea House

The cantilevered form is balanced by an unfurling curved blade wall