Bronte Beach House rethinks the idea of quiet luxury

Designed by Tom Mark Henry, Bronte Beach House is a contemporary take on the coastal home, imbued with an extensive material palette.

  • Bronte Beach House rethinks the idea of quiet luxury

Text by Saskia Neacsu

In 2023, the design industry was the prevalence of ‘quiet luxury’. But what constitutes ‘quiet luxury’ and how can it be quantified? It is a movement championing subdued and timeless refinement. In a nod to their creative vision, Architects Tom Mark Henry translated this notion – commonly seen on runways and in media – by designing an architectural embodiment of the concept — the Bronte Beach House.

Consideration of its context and locality to the coastline was imperative in the design brief, and the clients’ wanted to amalgamate bold design choices with subtle cues.  They wanted an inviting space for themselves and loved ones to come straight from the surf but didn’t want to compromise on glamour.

With an orientation along the coastline, the surroundings become the point of view rather than the interior. Bronte Beach House is anchored by a simple, yet flexible floorplan and an array of textural materials, that echo the natural colours and textures of the coast. The interplay of texture and a rich use of colour blur the threshold between the interior and its environment.

The materials refer to the surrounding landscape, further reinforcing the connection of the dwelling to the site: the use of limestone emulates sand underfoot, and deep red marble and chocolate-toned tiles are a reference to the cliffside. In contrast, the blues and greens hues carried through the semi-private spaces reference the water.

The materials and colour palette are a collection of contrasts: textured finish renders have been paired with gloss tiles; the natural timber veneers provide warmth; the limestone, raw finishes and earthy palette elevate the space.  

The facade is clean and precise in volume and composition and was remodelled to reflect the coastline, providing a visual cue before entering the home. Exterior spaces are dotted around the home – namely the outdoor showers and entertainment areas – for the owners and guests alike to immerse themselves in the surroundings.

The Bronte Beach House is open and communal while maximising natural light, and being considerate of its location, thus Bronte Beach House needed to be designed with material specifications and architectural longevity in mind. Robust finishes like travertine, cement and Marmarino floors will withstand harsh sun, salt and wind exposure. The low VOC paints and preloved materials were used on-site wherever possible, to enforce sustainable practices and maintain durability.

Bronte Beach House was an entry in 2023 INDE. Awards, which included categories relative to The Interior Space, The Building and more – entries for the 2024 INDE.Awards are now open.

Tom Mark Henry

Photography by Pablo Veiga

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