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Nestled into gnarled scrub or exposed to the wind and the surf, beach hosues are about environmental extremes. When the suburbs are left behind, it is these extremes that excite the senses. Whether it is a simple timber shack or a sophisticated architectural statement, a beach house is about fantasy and escape. Many of the beach houses featured in this book are exactly that - the stuff of their owners' dreams that have been realised by their architects' vision. They reflect fine contemporary residential architecture in an astonishing diversity of forms. They also provide a sharp contrast to city abodes, complementing instead the extreme and fragile coastal sites in which they are located, through imaginative and sympathetic design.