Sydney architect Hannah Tribe’s family beach house design that doubles as a kit house prototype.

Hannah Tribe is an intensely thoughtful architect with a wide variety of interests and concerns. So it’s no surprise that the vacation home she designed for her family in the coastal enclave of Bundeena, NSW is an expression of many things she struggles with in her practice on a daily basis. from Sydney, Tribe Studio.

The living room and the dining room open onto a generous garden.Credit:Katherine lu

How to be sustainable when building a unique house? How to create a relaxed atmosphere that promotes ease while maintaining a strong aesthetic? How to keep marauding deer away from edible plants?

The low house is a smart experience in a prototype kit house, inspired by local fisherman’s cottages. It’s designed to be replicated, which Tribe hopes to do commission by commission. “We could have had a great view from a second floor, but we felt it was important to reinforce the local vernacular of the one-story log cabins,” says the 45-year-old, whose company has won over 30 awards in the United States. and internationally.

Slow living is favored by the absence of television.

Slow living is favored by the absence of television.Credit:Katherine lu

An interior courtyard is filled with edible plants.

An interior courtyard is filled with edible plants.Credit:Katherine lu

Designed as a retreat from the city, the house was built to promote a slower lifestyle, as a place where Tribe, her husband, and their two boys aged 8 and 11 can read, cook, walk in the bush and have fun. paddleboard. There is no TV, and the living room and bedroom wrap around an interior courtyard filled with edible plants, while also opening onto a north-facing rear garden.

When friends come to stay, the built-in sofas in the living room double as beds. The wet areas – laundry room and bathroom – have been pushed all the way to the entrance to become a “deliberate sand trap” for beach towels, wetsuits and thrown flip flops.

While the wood-clad structure is raw and sturdy, the interior features touches of play and color. Dining chairs, for example, are a 1980s tubular steel and plywood school set found at Grandfather’s Ax in Melbourne. “There’s something fun and at the same time nostalgic about them,” says Tribe, “and I love the color and compositions they do when they’re laid out unevenly around the table.”

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