Villa Marittima, St Andrews Beach Vic 3941

  • 2016

  • Architectural
    Architectual Design

Commissioned By:

Robin Williams Architect

Designed In:


A private translucent polycarbonate wrapped enclosure by the ocean, filled with natural light: with simple, expansive and flexible spaces.
The focus of the villa is the sensual calmness and energy of water.
The main living space hovers between ocean and pool, with a dramatic large window into the pool below.

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  • Space is the one key luxury we have. The Villa contains three key internal spaces, and three key external spaces. Spaces in which to be joyful, jubilant, liberated, relaxed and uninhibited. All key spaces focus on the breathtaking ocean panorama and pool in different forms. Perfection is achieved when there is nothing more to take away: when the spaces form themselves with subtle light, shadows and colour distributed by nature. The State Architectural Jury commented “To view Villa Marittima simply as a meticulously detailed example of Minimalist architecture would be an incomplete interpretation. This home presents a memorable series of living experiences from unique architectural responses to site"

  • The focus of the villa is the sensual calmness and energy of water. The main translucent living space hovers between ocean and pool, incorporating Living, Dining and Kitchen. The space is translucent and white, the colour of foaming surf, with a softly polished cloud-like concrete floor. Large glazed doors open at each end of the space to allow for a seamless spatial flow between the pool and the vast horizon line of the ocean. To enable the space to function in its essential simple rectangular “Salon” form, the Kitchen slides into the side wall to be totally disguised. Focus is on the water elements. The pool is “a room in the house” filled with water relating to both levels: visual, tactile, inspiring.

  • Flexibility of spaces is the key. This is a specific response to the client brief: a flexible interior with a significant level of joy and excitement. These are livable, simple, uncluttered spaces focusing on light, space and outlook. They all operate as living, dining, sleeping, office and library spaces. All spaces relate to water and the ocean view. All service and storage areas are contained in one slim central core 900mm wide. The fully functional Kitchen sliding into the side wall brings a new dimension to the functional and visual nature of a dwelling Kitchen. Limited furniture is flexible - but with a consistent theme of calm simplicity: white fittings emulating the clouds and crashing waves.

  • The poetry of arrival at the ocean begins. The large door opens to a long ramped floor - the sand dune. Rising the ramp the first view is the ever changing sky at the top. Then the horizon, and then the ocean becomes visible as a breathtaking panorama. The process is an exciting part of daily life. This open, reflective ramped space contains a wet area, sleeping space, study, and library: practical useable space whilst providing gentle continuous movement between the major spaces and levels. As the National Architectural Jury commented: “Villa Marittima challenges the “norms” as great works must. The Villa is about poetry, discipline, and commitment. It is a mesmerising abstract painting, a joy to live in “

    Multi Celled Polycarbonate was selected for all wall areas: a new material to provide a private fully translucent enclosure. Code insulation requirements are met without solid insulation. The multi-celled air filled cavities of the polycarbonate provide the insulation whilst still providing natural light throughout the daylight and dusk hours. The natural light, shadows, patterns and colours enhances living and working within a very simple “minimalist” house: with constant daily immersion in the dwelling as an artwork.

    The Kitchen was a priority. Not a large Kitchen with extensive benches that would just be filled with clutter. A one person Kitchen - with all key elements within easy reach. Compact storage: one set of dinnerware and glassware, and the basic cooking and serving items. All being able to be slid away to remove the Kitchen from view: to return the living space to a “Salon”, to a place of mood and contemplation with the focus on water. The client brief was also that the Kitchen had to be in a position where the ocean and pool were visible. The Kitchen is also “a place at the table” in the Dining Area - while preparing a meal to be in close proximity and within earshot of the conversation at the Dining table.

    Coastal exposure requires careful consideration. Materials have been selected for their longevity in this salt exposed location. The main structure is heavily protected steel: the main surfaces polycarbonate panels. There was very little waste produced from the construction: only two medium sized skips for the total job. The key framing and cladding elements were all cut approximately to size in the factory. All glazing, joinery, concrete floor screed and the pool were provided to site dimensions. Lighting is low energy and recessed at floor level. The translucent outer walls provide all internal light required during daylight and dusk hours. All lighting and heating is iPhone operated. Heating in-screed.