The Loft

The Home Base blog

Concrete Results

A multi-level design that stands up to the coastal elements


The challenge of creating a home that is beautiful yet extraordinarily robust, entirely livable yet visually a modern masterpiece was never going to be easy.

But there it is, perfectly at home nestled somewhere between the sandy dunes of Scarborough Beach and the hustle and bustle of the cityside suburbs beyond.

Picture: Douglas Mark Black

There’s always been a grittiness to Scarborough. Back when the trolley buses rumbled down Scarborough Beach Road to the Snake Pit, Scarborough was the established big sister of as yet undeveloped Trigg. The suburb’s bones were made first of shacks and holiday homes and then of Federation-era bungalows before the big blocks eventually gave way to multi-dwelling units in the early 1960s and 1970s.

It’s a blessing that this heritage remains, because it’s a tapestry that underpins the suburb’s vintage vibe and there’s a rekindled appreciation for the design elements of some of those buildings that were built to withstand the erosive salt-laden sea breezes.

Picture: Douglas Mark Black

Picture: Douglas Mark Black

Amidst that, this family home, designed by Carrier and Postmus Architects (CAPA), has popped up like a mushroom spawned from the spore of generations past but with newly evolved and more modern innovations.

You can see how it connects to the past but you can also clearly see a window to the future.

The owners are a young, community-minded family with a lifestyle focused on the outdoors. Their love of surfing, skating and swimming is evident in the home’s design which now proudly occupies the land which was vacant for a significant period of time due to the site being a difficult building proposition.

Picture: Douglas Mark Black

Steven Postmus from CAPA says the home had to be modest, crafted, delicate and a place where family and friends could gather. The mostly concrete structure is strong, beautiful, spacious, functional and playful and spans an eye-watering six levels and a rooftop.

The facade is sculptural with fluid forms, concrete and brickwork which provides a buffer to the outside world.

Inside, the double-height living space features the star of the show – exposed concrete.

Picture: Douglas Mark Black

“Fortunately for us, the clients already had a builder with a preference for concrete,” Steven says.

“Overall, the palette is comprised of concrete, boarded and face, and masonry brickwork – ribbed concrete and face clay, with concrete ceilings and stained timber linings.”

Voids, an open staircase and the clever placement of windows allow plenty of light to fill the home.

Outside, a raised concrete pool is cleverly designed to double as a retaining wall and avoid the need for a security fence. This thoughtful position also allows people to come to the edge and interact.

Inside, interesting features such as an indoor swing, a folding ensuite wall and hidden skylight are all part of the playful design that reflects the owner’s outlook on life.

“A rooftop terrace with a peek of the ocean caps the main central void and is accessed via stairs which also double as a thermal chimney for the home,” CAPA’s Justin Carrier says.