Alma Road Residence

Mount Lawley, Western Australia

A tiny subdivided block, with a spacious feel. A suburban home with city views and privacy. A new house, full of memories. Impossible?



The architect’s first design for himself and a true labour of love, this home was built on a subdivided lot near Mount Lawley’s vibrant Beaufort St precinct.
The challenges of a small rear block and a lean budget were incorporated into the design from the beginning, with two-course double brick and a simple roof structure to keep costs low. Timber elements and painted brick give the external surface a textured, masonry appearance, which helped to harmonise the new building in this established, traditionally Federation-style area. Given the enclosed, suburban nature of the lot we really wanted to create a sense of openness within the house, without sacrificing its feeling of seclusion and safety. Doors and windows were carefully placed to frame views of nature, which opens up the living spaces while maintaining the privacy of occupants and neighbours. The north-facing courtyard provides a sheltered outdoor retreat while the first floor offers private, unimpeded city views.
It was important for the house to reflect the architect’s personality as well as his design principles. His favourite colours are present in the turquoise bathroom tiling and also the vivid orange window frames, which infuse subtle warmth into the light entering the house. Salvaged items from his grandparents’ recently demolished house also added memories and significance to each room, in the form of recycled timber cabinetwork, doors, windows and battens.