Bonnies of Beachport

Opening in November 2016, Bonnies luxury holiday apartments have been described by many as the ideal union of form and function. A group of six luxury holiday residences located in the picturesque seaside town of Beachport, South Australia.


  • Architect: Ian Hannaford
  • Builder: Construction Solutions
  • Engineer: Grant Pietsch
  • Fabricator: KR Installations

About the project

Opening in November 2016, Bonnies luxury holiday apartments have been described by many as the ideal union of form and function. A group of six luxury holiday residences located in the picturesque seaside town of Beachport, South Australia, Bonnies is named after the Bonney Upwelling, a local marine phenomenon bringing cold, nutrient-rich water from deep in the ocean to the surface, turning the sea a stunning azure.

Situated on South Australia’s stunning limestone coast, Bonnies’ notable interior features include handcrafted interior highlights made from locally salvaged Pink Gum, and an impressive art installation celebrating the site’s union of rural and urban. In perfect harmony with the sleepy seaside holiday location, Bonnies makes holidays unforgettable.
Renowned architect Ian Hannaford has captured the beauty of the area with this modern and environmentally sensitive design. A passion for the environment and appreciation of nature has always motivated Ian, who found working on Bonnies exceptionally rewarding. ‘We developed the concept of Bonnies in conjunction with the owners,’ he recalls. ‘The site sits at the apex of historic Beachport, overlooking the jetty and fishing port. Every apartment takes full advantage of the winter sun and those stunning panoramic views.’

Great care was taken to integrate Bonnies with its surroundings. ‘To encourage community interaction and outdoor activities, we created a village square lawn space,’ Ian explains. ‘The building features interesting internal layouts that flow seamlessly between spaces. This fluid design provides visitors with a memorable experience, coupled with a sense of safety and self-sufficiency.’

Once these aims had been clarified, form naturally followed function. ‘The above understandings led to the building’s sharp bow-shaped form, reflecting the site’s sea-going nature,’ says Ian. ‘The two-storey timber-clad building will eventually weather to a sea-washed coastal character.’

Careful consideration was given to all building materials specified for the project, effectively combining classic design with peerless performance. Schüco German window and door technology manufactured by KR Installations were installed throughout, incorporating all double-glazed units including the oversized sliding doors on the front façade. World-leading suppliers of the most technically advanced window, door and façade systems, Schüco windows are constructed from quality grade aluminium, with Capral as their exclusive Australian distributor.

Bonnies Co-owner Sue Wheal explains why this premium window system was chosen. ‘Because reducing the building’s environmental footprint was our absolute priority, we envisaged the windows as a major engineering and design feature from the beginning,’ she says.

The extensive use of glazing made achieving low energy consumption difficult. ‘The substantial glazed expanses in each apartment made insulating window and door areas a priority,’ Sue reveals. ‘The apartments also had to withstand extreme weather conditions, including severe blasts from the Southern Ocean. The Schüco windows work superbly in this setting – their heavy-duty framing and finish provide the durability required to resist extreme erosion caused by salt winds.’

Aesthetics were another major consideration. ‘The standout appearance of the glass itself is another central feature of Bonnies apartments,’ Sue continues. ‘The windows’ reflective finish looks fantastic, highlighting the magnificent Norfolk pines behind the building.’
The window system meshes with the building’s distinctive external skin. ‘Bonnies is clad in cypress timber, which will gradually turn silver over time,’ Sue explains. ‘The window frames blend right in with the silvering cypress and galvanised beams, giving the apartments a sleek, almost industrial look.’
The sliding doors offer further evidence of clever design. ‘The door sliders are lifted above the ground, separating them from sand deposits that can accumulate in the rails,’ says Sue. ‘Rather than collecting dirt like conventional units, the raised slide rails used throughout Bonnies protect the mechanism from foreign material.’

The bedroom windows are notable for their highly versatile design, able to open in the residents’ choice of position. ‘In one setting, the windows drop open from the top, with the lower windows angling in; the handle can also be flipped around in the second setting, enabling them to fully open like casement windows.’
The windows and glazing system have markedly improved the level of comfort for guests. ‘The sound insulation properties of the window system and double glazing are incredible,’ Sue comments. ‘We often have concerts on the lawn in the open air right in front of the apartments – but due to the superb acoustic properties, residents who shut their windows don’t hear a thing!’

Innovative double sliding flywire screens and louvers save space while doing their job flawlessly. ‘The retractable flyscreens can be pulled over the sliding doors in a concertina arrangement, which is highly effective and resistant to damage,’ says Sue. ‘The louvers, as well as looking lovely, make perfect economic and environmental sense, providing fantastic airflow while fully complying with fire regulations.’

Sue concludes with an overall appreciation of the building’s design. ‘Visually, Bonnies blends perfectly into the foreshore,’ she says. ‘We are rapt with the skilful integration between site and architecture, which met our brief to the letter.’

KR Installations Operations Manager Robbi Burdett, who has worked exclusively with Schüco for the past three years, expands on the window system’s many strengths. ‘There are two types of window suites used in Bonnies – firstly, the sliding door system (AFS39SC) – a thermally broken system with high-performance double glazing; and secondly, the hinge Door – tilt and turn system (AWS/ADS 65),’ he says.

These high-performance window systems offer many advantages. ‘A major engineering advantage of Schüco windows is the airtight sealing capability, coupled with superb insulation properties,’ Robbi says. ‘The thermally broken frames prevent heat transfer through the window frame which can be as much as 20% of the total window area, creating an extremely weatherproof insulation system with excellent air permeability.’

The Schüco framing employs advanced materials to achieve these results. ‘The window frames are aluminium inside and out, with a uPVC thermal break at the centre,’ says Robbi. ‘Each frame’s plastic core is shielded from the elements, making the design optimally suited to Bonnie’s harsh beachfront location. Being aluminium on the outer faces makes them highly UV-resistant, an essential property in Australian conditions.’

‘Schüco window suites have superb insulation properties, enabling us to achieve a very high level of thermal insulation, which we tested thoroughly beforehand with custom-designed software,’ Robbi confirms. ‘As the entire front façade is glazed, this technology was instrumental in ensuring all apartments passed stringent energy ratings without having to reduce the size of the windows – a compromise which would have been necessary with a less efficient system.’

The greatest logistical test for Schüco was the site’s isolation. ‘The Bonnies project was challenging for us, as the site is located around 400 km from our factory,’ Robbi says. ‘Working in this location forced us to be highly organised and very careful regarding transportation.’

The pride that Schüco take in each product is clearly evident. ‘The powder coating for the window suite is Dulux Electro Natural Silver (ideally suited for harsh environments),’ Robbi says. ‘Schüco offers a full 20-year warranty on powder coating of the frames, whereas most other warranties only cover the former, It’s an unrivalled guarantee of durability.’

With this level of care taken throughout the building, it’s no wonder Bonnies of Beachport has become such a coveted beachfront address.


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