The Ark

Point Lonsdale, Victoria

The Ark is the renovation, renewal and third interpretation of a holiday home in Point Lonsdale that has been enjoyed by the same family for 60 years.

The original 1950’s beach shack was renovated in the early 1980’s and designed by architect and former National President of the AIA John Castles. The Ark is the latest evolution of the dwelling, necessitated by a growing extended family and constant wear of the tough coastal environment. The existing house included a striking two storey curved wall, second storey raking roof and timber cladding oriented at 45 degrees. The challenging brief asked to retain and celebrate these elements whilst enlarging the living spaces to create a light filled, relaxed and playful family beach house. 

The reimagined plan of the house responds to the clients own beachside rituals. Interior and exterior spaces were created that work to embrace the experience of heading off for a surf, coming home with sandy feet, finding a sunny place to spend a winters afternoon, and enjoying the beach house as a couple or with the whole family.

Anna Dutton, Co-Director, Bower Architecture & Interiors

The refurbishment of the original building included a complete recladding in spotted gum shiplap angled at 45 degrees. Notions of a continuous timber skin wrapping a sculptural form are evident and are further emphasised by the addition of a timber rain screen over the raking roof. The new addition, added to the northern side of the existing building, increases the size of the kitchen and living spaces as well as providing an attached bedroom/bathroom pavilion. Whist the refurbished original building appears sculpted and smoothed over time, the new building is bolder and sharply rectilinear in form. Clad in a rougher, radially-cut pine board and batten system, sections are carved away to reveal warm timbers and living space beneath.

Demarcation of old and new is critical to The Ark and culminates in a slice (appearing as windows and skylight) between the original building and new. Internally, the language of the original design is reinterpreted with tiling and kitchen timber ceiling often oriented at 45 degrees and the curved island kitchen bench reminiscent of the curved external wall. Externally the sloping topography of the site encourages a stepped outdoor living area that traces the site downwards. 

Project Info
Traditional People and Custodians

Wada Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation

Architecture and Interior Design

Bower Architecture & Interiors


Will Gordon, Jardine Homes

Shannon McGrath
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