Adrian Bonomi builds wooden summer house for a couple who also live on a yacht

| 3 comments

Australian architect Adrian Bonomi used a combination of blackened and pale wood to clad this summer residence for a couple who spend the winters sailing their yacht around Queensland (+ slideshow).

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

Bonomi's clients – a couple of retired teachers and owners of a jukebox business – had sold their large house and half-hectare property, giving them enough money to build a smaller residence and also buy a kit-built catamaran.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

The house's rectilinear form is clad in lengths of black-stained cypress wood, but has contrasting unfinished timber details.

A pale wood structure cocoons the front of the blackened timber house, creating the angular roof form, while to the rear it covers the ceiling of a veranda that helps the residents make the most of outdoor living.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

The building is named House In Somers – a reference to both its summer usage and its location in a town of the same name, located southeast of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

"The brief was to create a compact house for their downsizing move," Bonomi told Dezeen.



"The form of the house is about creating a small-scale facade to the street, rising to a grand scale in section in the living and master bedroom areas."

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

"The ceiling is raked at 10 degrees to bring light in during the winter and grey days and expel heat during the summer," he added.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

The building has a reverse brick veneer construction, which involved using brickwork for just the inside layer of the facade.

This technique is becoming increasingly popular in Australia, as it can help improve natural heating and cooling, and is favoured by architects including Glenn Murcutt.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

In most places the brick is painted white, although some sections are left exposed.



Three bedrooms, bathrooms and a studio are arranged around a central living space that opens directly onto a terrace beneath the verandah.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

A strip of grey tiling visually separates the lounge and dining portions of the living area, and forms the backdrop for a suspended black fireplace.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

On the terrace, a brick-lined grill is aligned with this fireplace, dividing the outdoor space also into lounging and dining areas.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

"A central living zone connected to a large north-facing verandah blurs the line between a courtyard house and a traditional Australian verandah house," said Bonomi.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect

A workshop and garage angle from the end of the house to block views of the verandah from neighbours.

Photography is by Benjamin Hosking.

House In Somers by Adrian Bonomi Architect
Floor plan – click for larger image
  • Danillo

    This has to be the most smug titled Dezeen post I’ve ever seen. Still pondering the relevance of the yacht mentioned… We are the 99%.

    • Guest

      I don’t think much money went into this structure, so they’ve little to be smug about. Also, getting this sort of stuff past their planners would be a doddle compared to getting it past England’s hidebound lot.

    • Adrian Bonomi

      Thanks for your comment Danillo. The house is a culmination of two people’s life of hard work as public school teachers and small business owners. In Australia, some people are lucky enough to afford a second small holiday home.

      In this case, the clients liked sailing and they live in a lovely place already, so to escape the cold winter instead of buying a holiday house they built a small yacht. It’s cheaper than a house. I hope you liked the design despite the unfair characterisation of the owners, who you do not know at all.

      It is a modestly sized house for a simple but happy life. Great article Dezeen!