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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
the best house on earth John Gollings THE BEACH HOUSE HAS ALWAYS BEEN A PART OF AUSTRALIAN LIFE. NOW, ARCHITECTS ARE TAKING IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL. If any building could be considered quintessentially Australian, it is the humble beach house. Once, hundreds of families had some kind of structure at the one place every Aussie aspired to spend as much of their time as possible. Much has changed for Australia since those early ' bro' shacks adorned just about every peninsula. And if the World Architecture Awards are anything to go by, then McBride Charles Ryan are responsible for turning a classic into the best house in the world. e Melbourne rm's famous Klein Bo le House was awarded the honour of Best House in the World at the World Architecture Festival in 2009. Perched on the Mornington Peninsula, one and a half hours from Melbourne, their beach house is revered for its angular form and strikingly bold design. And from the outset, all the architects knew is that they wanted a building nestled within Australian native trees. " is house is unique partly due to its location and partly due to our response to its location. e site vegetation is predominantly tea tree -- native to Australia. Its twisted form has had an in uence on the design of the house," says Debbie Ryan of McBride Charles Ryan. " e house sits within a rich tradition of experimental domestic architecture on the Mornington Peninsula; a laboratory of sorts for new ideas to be tested. Like the Heroic Period of Australian architecture, we were seeking a poetic resolution of topography, vegetation and domestic program." e Mornington Peninsula has become a site of experimental domestic architecture, according to Ryan, who cites Chancellor Patrick's Bu er y House, Roy Grounds circular Henty House and more recently Nonda Katsalidis Core 10 house as well as Sean Godsell's house as noteworthy projects in the region. While McBride Charles Ryan are world leaders in residential architecture, they choose to design most of their houses primarily for the vibrant and burgeoning Australian market. When asked what makes Australian architects unique, exibility and adaptability top her list. "I think we can be particular and local yet echo international concerns and interests. We respond quickly to new technologies and ways of doing things. e 'have a go' adage has probably ser ved us well." A FINE POINT The Klein Bottle House in native tea tree scrub on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. 92