The Beach House
Studio Esteta, Landbuild and Jess Wright Design
Lingapal 174.02 Pippy Oak
The Beach House is located in Geelong’s heritage-listed Eastern Beach bathers pavilion, a local art deco icon built in 1930. In 2018, it was acquired by The Mulberry Group – known for its considered restoration of hospitality venues – with the view of creating a contemporary community hub that respectfully embraces its own historical context.
Created by Studio Esteta, the new design of this multi-faceted eatery and function space pays homage to the history of the area as it reimagines the traditional coastal café and kiosk.
The sophisticated, considered, and sustainable renovation sees the existing building retained. Studio Esteta injects new life into the pavilion through minimalistic design that embraces the nostalgic qualities of the structure with smart spatial solutions, and a refined material and colour palette.
Brightening up the space with all shades of sand and ocean foam, the simple and uncluttered interior utilises a palette of natural tones and light blue hues, along with contrasting textures of natural stone, soft linen and rendered walls that are warmed up by the carefully specified natural timber.
“Informed by the rural and coastal landscape of the surrounding Bellarine Peninsula, the design reflects a refined and modern, yet effortlessly relaxed space that remains sympathetic to the history of the site,” says Felicity Slattery of Studio Esteta. “This was achieved through the simple yet considered material palette and subtle yet high level of detail. This drove our selection of the George Fethers Lignapal ‘Pippy Oak’, as we felt it reflected the raw, honest and humble textures of the Australian landscape and created a warm and inviting atmosphere while also being extremely durable in a commercial environment.”
Playing a pivotal role in creating an inviting atmosphere, Pippy Oak has been incorporated in a variety of ways throughout the venue. The light brown of the timber grounds the interior, while the matt open-pore texture continues the tactile dialogue with the surrounding landscape. Its notably superior durability is created by a clean acrylic polyurethane finish that allows the veneer to maintain the subtle and sought-after beauty of natural wood.
A true embodiment of the coastal landscape and a respectful celebration of the area’s past, the intention behind The Beach House is to enrich the lives of the local community. The considered and seamless flow of the building invites patrons to discover unique moments and experiences as they follow the visual connections between the theatre of the kitchen, the coffee bar and the dining space – all the way through to the pool area.
Thanks to the holistic, sympathetic and considered design approach, this reimagined beachside café is now a contemporary meeting place that offers a relaxed, coastal, multi-sensory experience – while retaining the atmospheric charm of the past.
Photography by Sean Fenessey
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PIPPY OAK 174.02LignapalVeneer