Simmonds-Yin Residence

Shenton Park, Western Australia

The church, the playground and the mask: how we built an ultra-modern home in Shenton Park’s traditional heritage precinct.


Completed: 2001

Size: 168m/sq

Awards: RAIA WA Chapter Architecture Awards 2002, Single Residential - Commendation

Filters: Awards / Single Residential / Suburban


This property is situated on what was once a playground adjoining an old church in Shenton Park. Though they loved the surrounding heritage precinct, the owners’ tastes are very contemporary and they didn’t want to compromise on the design of their family home.
Our initial proposals were rejected by council; the modern design simply didn’t conform to the requirements of the heritage-listed streetscape. Instead of attempting to diminish the strong aesthetic of the original design – which the owners loved – we developed a ‘mask’ for the home. A new facade complemented the church next door in pitch and proportions, grounding the house in the street and disguising the sleek residence behind it.
Inside, the home is a showcase of minimalist design. The owners envisaged the living area as a ‘large room’ – open, uncomplicated and full of light. The back of the house is a wall of glass, bathing the room in natural light and creating an open-air, spacious feeling. A white interior with long lines and clean finishes illuminates the rich colour of natural wood in cabinetry, the front door and the staircase. The utilitarian areas of the open plan kitchen/dining area were finished in stormy grey and recessed behind white bi-folds, so they quite literally disappear from sight when not in use. This living area transitions effortlessly into the outside space, which is landscaped in similar minimalist style. Clever use of clear and frosted glass also lets natural light all the way into the more intimate areas of the home, without compromising privacy.

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